THE Bulawayo city council, stung by government’s delay in implementing the Matabeleland Zambezi Water pipeline, is seeking to raise more than $3,4 trillion to access alternative water sources to supply the city with potable water, the Zimbabwe Independ
ent has learnt.
The city council last week tabled before a full council meeting a report compiled by the Future Water Supplies and Water Action committee outlining alternative sources of water for the city.
The water committee said council needs to embark on three projects if it is to contain water shortages that have persistently dogged the city.
The three projects that council need to embark on include connecting Mtshabezi Dam with Umzingwane Dam by pipeline, and to sink 20 new boreholes while rehabilitating a further 44 boreholes at the Nyamandlovu aquifer.
The report indicates that council should introduce a water levy if it is to fund the three projects.
However, the issue of the water levy has caused ructions in the council with half of the councillors arguing the levy would be another burden on residents.
The committee resolved that in the absence of a reliable source of water and the late implementation of the Matabeleland Water project, council should link up Mtshabezi dam with Umzingwane dam to increase water capacity.
Mtshabezi dam was constructed by the government in 1996 and the council intends to utilise the dam to augment its supply dams.
The committee estimated that the cost of the 36 kilometre link-up pipeline would cost $ 3 trillion while the construction will cost a further US $3,4 million.
“Recurrent droughts coupled with ever increasing water demand has necessitated the linking up of Mtshabezi with Umzingwane dam,” the report said. “In this regard, Zinwa had come up with a proposal to link the dams up with a pipeline that will be 36,6 kilometres long with a discharge of 34,6 Mega litres a day which is 23% of the current average water demand of 145 mega litres a day.
“The cost of the pipeline is estimated to be $3 trillion plus US $3,4 million with construction estimated to take eighteen months,” reads the report.
The council also said it intends to rehabilitate 44 boreholes at the Nyamandlovu aquifer at an estimated cost of $80 billion.
The council report says if the Nyamandlovu boreholes are fully operational they will supply the city with 16 mega litres of water a day which translates to about 11% of demand.
The council was also wants to drill 10 boreholes in Epping Forest at a cost of $ 405 billion. The council report says boreholes will give a total anticipated yield of 10 megalitres of water a day.
The report indicates that the Nyamandlovu and the Epping Forest boreholes would meet 20% of the city’s water demands.