Govt blames towns councils for segregation of duties

- Plans massive borehole drilling project


Reason Razao

HARARE – Government is set to drill 5 000 boreholes to address water shortages across the country as it claims that there is segregation of duties by town councils in providing tapped water.

Concerns had been raised over water shortages across the country with Matebeleland being the most affected city despite the rehabilitation of over 141 boreholes.

Speaking in a portfolio and thematic committee virtual meeting, Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, John Bhasera, said they were in the process of procuring more borehole rigs for the drilling programme.

“We are in the process of procuring more borehole rigs especially the super rigs and we are working with District Development Fund as well as Zimbabwe National Water Authority in terms of amassing borehole drilling capacity so that at least this year we put over 5 000 boreholes,” said Bhasera.

“We envisage a situation whereby at any given time we have over 40 borehole rigs so that at least each borehole rig can be able to drill at least two boreholes per day.

“There is segregation of duties. There are town councils and town councils are responsible for water treatment and conveying water to the tap of a household. Our role as ministry and the sector leaders is the supply of bulk water or raw water.”

Meanwhile, Government has rolled out a massive programme in terms of dam construction, according to Bhasera, where several water reservoirs are being developed.

“We have Marovanyati in Manicaland which was recently launched by President Mnangagwa, this one is 97 percent done in terms of the actual dam project and we are now working on the conveying system, the piping of water so that ultimately the communities can be able to access tap water.”

The Permanent Secretary said in Mashonaland East, the Causeway Dam is around 96 percent complete and works were on-going on the left and right bank saddle dams where grassing is in progress as well as the installation of kerbstone on both upstream and downstream sides of the dam crest.

Bhesera indicated the need to craft long term solutions to water shortage in Matebeleland.

“We have the Gwai-Shangani water project and this one is intended to create a green belt along the way, on the way to Bulawayo. We want to resolve the Bulawayo water crisis once and for all

“We intend to close it and to complete it by year 2022 or 2023, so it is going together with the dam construction and the conveyance and pipeline project and the two are moving simultaneously.”

Other projects include Semwa dam in Mashonaland Central which is 39 percent complete while Bindura is 28 percent done.

The Dande water reservoir and tunnel project is 20 percent and 6 percent complete respectively, with the latter currently being held by rains.

Bhasera said the Tuli-Manyange dam was 5 percent complete and Government had set aside funds to support the budget.

The recently commissioned Silverstroom is 9 percent complete with constructions having started in mid-2020.

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