BY XOLISANI NCUBE
ECONET founder Strive Masiyiwa’s HigherLife Foundation has opened talks with Harare City Council over a $180 million fund to fight cholera.
According to minutes from a joint sitting of council’s health and finance committees tabled at a recent full council meeting, mayor Herbert Gomba was leading the talks with the organisation.
“It is resolved that council notes that the City of Harare and HigherLife Foundation are working on the cholera strategy (2019-2025), a document which informs all interventions to eradicate the water-borne diseases in the identified hotspots in line with the vision 2025,” part of the minutes read.
“The total cost of the project was $183 726 863 and preliminary discussions had agreed on the breakdown as highlighted.”
According to deputy mayor Enock Mupamawonde, the project will see council getting 40 ambulances, mobile water treatment plants, refuse collection vehicles as well as improving the water distribution system.
“The proposed cholera strategic plan (2019-2025) had four thematic areas and these include, reinforcing City of Harare management capabilities, operational systems and skills base. (The plan will also include) strengthening City of Harare public health preparedness and response, upgrading the city water sewer infrastructure in the hotspots and improving City of Harare solid waste management system,” Mupamawonde said.
Last year, more than 50 people died following a cholera outbreak in mostly Budiriro and Glen View high-density areas, while thousands were hospitalised due to the prevailing poor sanitation.
As a way of ensuring that after 2025 the water and sanitation project funded by HigherLife survives, council instructed its city treasurer to mobilise funds to meet the gesture in equal measure and ensure that the project management was lean and responsive.
Meanwhile, the council is only collecting 47% of the expected revenue from water and sanitation.
According to the service delivery benchmarking peer review mechanism, council was collecting 47% of its billed revenue, while non-revenue water fell from 60,7% to 57%.