MASVINGO — Masvingo City Council is in need of $45 million to upgrade its water and sewer system to adequately service the ever-growing population spurred by rural-urban migration, mayor Alderman Femius Chakabuda has said.
In addition, there has been a boom of low-cost housing in the country’s oldest city built by mushrooming housing co-operatives.
Speaking at the handover of $600 000 to Vashandi Housing Co-operative by the Zimbabwe National Association of Housing Co-operatives on Monday, Chakabuda said the city’s water and sewer system was overwhelmed by the ever-increasing population.
“Apart from rural-urban migration which has played a part in the increase in the population in the city, we also have to factor in the new houses being built by co-operatives, which are helping us ease the housing backlog.
“To cater for the housing co-operative in Victoria Ranch, council raised $2,1 million for main sewer trunk which will feed into the council sewer system. Now, if we are to provide water for Vashandi Housing Co-perative, we need to borrow $45 million which we will repay in a period of four years,” Chakabuda said.
He said the MDC-T-dominated council did not request the money from Treasury, but needed borrowing powers and a government guarantee for it to source the money elsewhere.
Masvingo had its water and sewer systems installed in 1963 to cater for a small population. But with the increase in the population, the systems can no longer cope.