The Bulawayo City Council has completed a sewer and water sanitation rehabilitation project funded through an African Development Bank AfDB US$33,6 million grant.
Council is considering approaching the bank for more funding to expand Bulawayo’s water and sewerage services improvement projects (BWSSIP).
Bulawayo’s sewer and reticulation infrastructure suffers from sewer pipe bursts and leaks having outlived its lifespan.
Latest council minutes indicate that the AfDB grant was used in the rehabilitation of targeted critical components of the city’s water and sewerage infrastructure to improve access to water and sanitation.
The BWSSIP project started in Bulawayo in 2016 and was completed in June this year.
"There was a need for the Project to close out on a positive note with consideration of possibly unlocking further funding from the AfDB as the project was a first of its model in Zimbabwe where the executing agent was granted powers to implement the project in terms of planning, procuring, contract administration and management.
“The project was modelled on the sidelines of skills transfer and empowerment," read the minutes.
"This was a critical moment for the City of Bulawayo to close out the project in a positive note with required human capital who executed the project as project managers but currently most of those critical project managers had left council."
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The city fathers said they will hire former project managers, most of whom were its former employees, as consultants.
The former project managers who had left council employment were Vusisizwe Sibanda, Thulani Dube, Michael Ncube and Mercy Ncube.
“It was against this background that the City was requesting the engagement of the above former staff members for the period of the Bank review mission," the council noted.
"The cost of hiring the above members would be borne by council and amounted to $23 627 000 total andc rates as per travelling and subsistence had been used as basis for calculating the fees.”
Bulawayo is emerging as the country’s diarrhoea epicentre due to the ongoing water crisis and collapsing sewer reticulation systems.
In June 2020, a killer diarrhoea outbreak killed 13 residents of Luveve suburb and infected over 2000 others.
Since then, the city has been battling recurring diarrhoea outbreaks.