THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has reportedly agreed to slash its water charges to Bulawayo City Council (BCC) from 50 cents to 40 cents per kilolitre (KL) to make water from Nyamandlovu Acquifer affordable.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
The Nyamandlovu aquifer boreholes supply the city with nearly 10 megalitres of water per day.
Latest minutes of the council’s future water supplies and action committee reveal that the parties agreed to lower the tariffs for the benefit of the residents and to enable Zinwa to better manage the aquifer.
“Zinwa has been working with BCC in drafting a water sales agreement for ease of management of water supply between Zinwa Gwayi Catchment and BCC,” the minutes read in part.
“In the Nyamandlovu water sales agreement, BCC negotiated that water would be sold at a price of $0,40 per KL instead of $0,50 per KL currently being charged. This was done after realisation that no treatment costs and minimal pumping costs were realised by Zinwa. BCC was further disinfecting only the water.”
“The director of engineering services then advised that there was need to sign a formal agreement on the Nyamandlovu water sales between Zinwa and Bulawayo City Council.
“The agreement would improve management of the Nyamandlovu scheme. Currently, payment was done using the offsetting facility. Cash payment would enable the funds to be ring fenced and the account used for the maintenance of the Nyamandlovu Acquifer. This would then improve the operations at Nyamandlovu aquifer.”
The reduction in the price of water follows reports that the government approved plans to resuscitate four more boreholes at the Nyamandlovu aquifer, to bring to a total of 35 functional boreholes to supply water to the city.
There are 77 boreholes at the aquifer.
The State Procurement Board also approved a BCC request to construct a seven-kilometre pipeline from Epping Forest in Nyamandlovu to augment the city’s water supplies.