PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says Harare water is contaminated with raw sewerage owing to dilapidated and obsolete infrastructure, resulting in the frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
“We have an issue of water and sanitation management in the country.
In the area of sanitation which has caused cholera in Zimbabwe, we now understand that the system (water and sewer reticulation) is over 60 years old.
Sewage and water pipes leak and inter exchange quantities resulting in cholera,” Mnangagwa told Zimbabweans living in the United States.
He said his government was ready to roll out a $63 million programme to replace the obsolete sewer reticulation system which he said is failing to cope due to massive population growth in the capital.
“The first front in the fight against cholera is to contain it and the second is to make sure that the entire system is taken out and a new one is put on.
We understand that $63 million is required and I have no doubt we have the capacity to provide that,” he said.
Harare mayor Herbert Gomba has, however, said the city needs between $180 million to $200 million for pipe replacement alone and an additional $1 billion for dam construction so that there is adequate water supply.
Mnangagwa said the country was investing massive capital in infrastructure development to create opportunities for Zimbabweans living in the diaspora who have money, skill and expertise.
“In infrastructure development there are opportunities in the area of roads, rail, ICT. There is vast potential for business in that area because we want to deal with over 4 000km of roads which require either widening or dualisation.
We are opening bids for both domestic and international investment in infrastructure development,” he said.
He said there was need to upgrade the railway infrastructure to avoid derailments which have affected the National Railways of Zimbabwe in the past years.
Mnangagwa is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.