By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Masvingo – Council has continued to face water challenges due to the delayed of the second phase of the Water Augmentation process.
The Water augmentation phase 2 requires US$70 million which will require short and long-term funding for there to be affordable water tariffs in the city, the project will entail the construction of a duplicate water treatment plant at first and for now the technical and financial feasibility studies for the project is complete.
The project will increase the water supply capacity from 30megalitres per day to at least 60megalitres thereby improving water availability in the city for all residents. Water is now a challenge in the city and completion of the water augmentation phase 2 will curb the water woes.
This came out in the 2021 half year budget review by the Masvingo city council as they stated that they are working on making sure the water situation in the city is manageable.
“The Water augmentation phase 2 project remains stalled due to lack of funding hence persistent water challenges remain as water supply treatment and distribution capacity remains at 50% of the current estimated demand. Council has finalized the technical and financial feasibility studies and handed over the projects documents to government to assist in seeking funding. We are informed that our project documents are now with the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA0 which is mandated to identify and suit potential funders for priority projects. The project is estimated at US$70 million and would require cheap and long-term funding to maintain affordable water tariffs in the city.”
The council is prioritizing portable water supply to the residents and adequate stocks of water treatment chemicals have also been maintained.
In an interview with one of the residents in Masvingo ward 6, she said the kick starting of the Water Augmentation is long overdue.
“The council has promised to kick start the project for a long time now but nothing is coming into place. The council is failing to make sure we get adequate water, it is very funny as other wards do get water while other wards go for close to a month with no tap water supply and have to rely on boreholes and water browsers. The water is not getting any better, the council must come up with a feasible solution for its residents,” said Sarah Mufumisi.
In an interview with the Spokesperson for the Masvingo Rate Payers and Residents Association (MURRA), Godfrey Mtimba said the council should cast their net wide and look for funds.
“We urge Masvingo City Council to cast their nets wide and look for funding elsewhere. We know that they have been grappling to raise the amount needed for the project but because of the infertile environment and economic hardships we call for them to cast their nets wide.
As they wait for the Chinese deal for the project they should as well look for funding,” he said.