City seeks $82m for water projects

BULAWAYO City Council says it plans to hold a donors’ conference early next month to raise around $82 million required to fund the city’s mid-term water solution.

Report by Khanyile Mlotshwa Staff Reporter

Addressing a Press conference yesterday after a water summit with stakeholders, Bulawayo mayor Thaba Moyo said the numerous strategies of addressing the water crisis that has seen residents receive water for only three days a week had been proposed.

“The meeting was to discuss the challenges of water that the city is facing,” he said.

“We crafted a way forward. We have lined up more meetings for next year. We will leave no stone unturned as we seek a solution.”

MDC-T policy director and Bulawayo South MP Eddie Cross said that the water situation in Bulawayo was “critical”.

He said even if efforts to connect Mtshabezi Dam, duplicate Insiza pipeline and rehabilitate boreholes in Nyamandlovu succeed “Bulawayo is still going to be under water-rationing for the rest of 2013 unless there is enough rain.”

“There is need to pursue long-term strategies,” he said.

“Mid-term strategies, that is between 12 and 15 months, are to improve the water situation.

“It has been noted by experts that the rainfall in Mzingwane catchment area has been declining by 2,5% every decade.

“Rainfall has gone down and the population has gone up, which means we have a disaster.”

Cross said the emergency programme had already raised $37 million.

“Even if it rains this year, we shouldn’t relax. Bulawayo needs an urgent structured response and it is going to get that funding,” he said.

“As an outcome of the meeting, we have asked the mayor to write to the central government in early January so that the government calls for a funding summit next month.

“But the water problems here cannot wait until January.”

City engineer Simela Dube said the emergency response would need $38 million for the Insiza duplication expected to be complete in 2014, $3 million for the Epping Forest, $1 million for the Nyamandlovu Aquifer and $40 million for the recycling of water for industrial and urban agricultural purposes.

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