Govt delays funding for city boreholes

ZIMBABWE National Water Authority (Zinwa) Gwayi Catchment area manager Tommy Rosen on Monday said they were waiting for funding from the government to sink the remaining 12 boreholes out of the expected 20 at Epping Forest to alleviate water problems in Bulawayo.

BY PATRICIA SIBANDA

Bulawayo will receive an extra 10 megalitres of water a day when the project is completed.

Currently, Bulawayo is under a six-day water-shedding schedule due to dwindling water levels at the supply dams.

Speaking at a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government fact-finding meeting, Rosen said the Finance and Local Government ministers, who toured the Epping Forest sites in May, had not released funds for the water project.

“We had a visit to the site by both Minister of Local Government and Minister of Finance. Indications were that they were saying definitely the funding would be made available because they saw the urgency of the project, but to date, we have not received any notifications, any funding for Epping Forest,” he said.

Rosen said the drilling of the boreholes at Epping Forest started long back, but because of lack of funding, there were a lot of outstanding works to finish the system.

He said normal borehole drilling on average cost US$2 000, but the ones needed at Epping Forest cost between US$15 000 and US$20 000.

“When it comes to Epping, the project started sometime back and we were looking to drill 20 boreholes to give us the 10 megalitres a day. Under PSIP [Public Sector Investment Programme] funding, we drilled 10 boreholes and one of the reasons (for the delay) was funding dried up,” he said.

“The city then came and partnered with us because the project had to be continued and with their funding, we then completed the pump house, additional reservoir and we did the pipeline from Epping to Rochester to link up the whole system.”

Rosen said 12 boreholes were outstanding.

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