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Byo gets SA grant

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Bulawayo City Council (BCC)’s application for a R4 million grant from South Africa for the city’s water and waste water plan has been approved.

Town clerk Middleton Nyoni has confirmed the development.

“An initiative by the director of engineering services, Simela Dube, to seek funding for the master plan for water and water waste has been approved by South Africa’s Department of Trade and Investment (DTI),” Nyoni said.

“One of the conditions they stipulated in the approval was co-funding to the extent of R4,1 million for BCC.”

The latest council report stated that communication advising of the approval had already been sent together with the standard DTI agreement, as well as a letter from the partnering firm Stemele Bosch Africa giving a breakdown of how the funding should be structured.

The master plan for water and water waste involves mapping of the infrastructure relating to water and waste water.

“The city of Bulawayo is growing and there is need for a master plan showing how pipes were laid out within the city in order to facilitate repair work,” said Dube.

Last year, the Australian government offered $4,6 million for a two-year project to rehabilitate Bulawayo’s water and sewer systems, the Bulawayo Water and Sanitation Emergency Response (BOWSER), under a joint agreement with BCC, World Vision, Dabane Trust and other stakeholders in the private sector.

Council says the rehabilitation of the collapsing infrastructure at the water treatment plant would cost over $1 million.

Poor water and sanitation were key drivers for the cholera epidemic that gripped Zimbabwe in 2008 and 2009, with cholera cases reaching over 80 000, including about 3 759 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation.

Water Resources Development and Management minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo estimated that $434 million was needed to resuscitate water infrastructure.

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