Council uses expired master plan

GWERU City Council’s master plan meant to lay out how land in the Midlands capital should be used has expired, a situation that could compromise the local authority’s planning vision, Southern Eye has learnt.

BY STEPHEN CHADENGA

A city master plan document usually contains maps, aerial photos and other information necessary to support council’s development plans.

“There is a serious backlog in the preparation of layout plans, master and local plans. The City of Gweru master plan expired and there are no local plans,” part of a 2018 budget report document read.

Experts say a master plan should be reviewed after every 15 years, but Gweru has been using one for over 20 years.

Council director of finance, Edgar Mwedzi, recently said the local authority was working on modalities to update the master plan.

Last year, town clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza called on the local authority to adopt a strategic master plan to enable the provision of water and sewer services to upcoming residential areas.

Over the years, the city has witnessed a sharp increase in the development of residential stands, with some stretching into peri-urban and rural areas.

Gwatipedza said the city required a master combination plan to incorporate areas in rural distrct councils such as Vungu and Zibagwe.

Experts say the rapid expansion of urban areas has increased the demand for essential services such as water supply, a situation that can affect sanitation and health, if not properly handled.

In August, Gweru experienced an outbreak of typhoid, which claimed eight lives, with more than 1 500 cases of the waterborne disease reported.

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