BY COLIN MOYO
INTERNATIONAL donors have contributed US$145,5 million towards water, sanitation and power projects in the country, a Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund (ZimFund) top official has revealed.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with African Development Bank (AfDB) officials in Bulawayo yesterday, ZimFund manager Emmanuel Nzabanita said the objective of the fund was to improve provision of water, sanitation and energy in the country.
“Our contributing donors include Australia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom,” he said.
AFDB is the administrator for ZimFund.
Nzabanita said the fund was bankrolling two projects, namely Urgent Water Supply (UWS) and Sanitation Rehabilitation Project (EPIRP).
“The objective of EPIRP is to assist Zimbabwe to improve the availability and reliability of electricity supply through rehabilitation of generation, transmission and distribution facilities,” he said.
African Development Bank country manager Damoni Kitabire said at Marvel substation in Bulawayo, three 60 MVA transformers were installed more than 50 years ago and one of the transformers failed in 2009; in Gweru, the Chertsey substation was decommissioned 14 years ago.
According to Nzabanita, ZimFund is financing the replacement of a 90MVA transformer at Chertsey substation and a 175 MVA transformer at Marvel substation in Bulawayo, to supply approximately
300 000 households in the City of Kings and other surrounding provinces.
“The substation [Chertsey] supplies power to a number of institutions such as hospitals, clinics, colleges, universities and schools,” he said.
About US$8 million was allocated to Marvel and Chertsey projects.
ZimFund traces its roots to the cholera outbreak that hit the country in 2008, during which about 4 000 people lost their lives and 100 000 affected.
ZimFund says the breakdown of water and sanitation infrastructure compounded by unreliable power supply led to inadequate provision of safe and clean water in the country.
The organisation was established to help the country rehabilitate key water and sanitation, and power infrastructure, particularly in municipalities that were most affected by the cholera outbreak.