Happiness Zengeni in the Hague, Netherlands
The African Development Bank has approved a €2 million facility for the upgrade of Marondera’s water treatment plant following the completion of the Wenimbi pipeline.
Marondera currently relies on water supplies from four dams, two of which are owned by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority while the municipality owns the other two.
Although water from the recently connected Wenimbi Dam is relatively clean, its pumping costs are prohibitively high due to the lengthy delivery main.
Making submissions during the ongoing study tour of the Netherlands by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority yesterday, Water Resources Planning and Management director Tinayeshe Mutazu confirmed the approval of the grant.
“The African Development Bank has approved a €2 million facility for an upgrade of Marondera water treatment plant following the completion of the Wenimbi pipeline.
“There is enough raw water going to the treatment plant but there was need to upgrade the treatment plant and waste water plant,” said Mr Mutazu.
He said the approval for the grant was done on December 21 last year under the African Water Facility following a meeting between Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and African Water Facility chair Mr Mohammed Azizi where she negotiated for the finalisation of the grant.
Mr Mutazu said work is expected to start soon. The Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate will be the executing agency for the project which will be implemented over 30 months.
Apart from aged infrastructure at Marondera water treatment plant, intermittent power supply has also limited the production capability of the treatment system, pumping and distribution of treated water.
Almost every property in Marondera is directly connected to the municipal water supply network, but do not have 24 hour supply due to power cuts and the water system’s poor performance.
The sanitation situation in Marondera is also critical and although 91 percent of the properties in the town have access to a toilet, most of the collected sewage is not being treated.
The town had a good sewer network but is now suffering from overloading and lack of maintenance.
Marondera sits on a watershed with the Mazowe, Manyame and Save catchments all starting from the town and this geographical aspect makes pumping of water and sewage over the ridge to the other side of the town very costly.
This however, explains why most areas in the town do not receive treated water from the treatment plant, with low lying areas most likely to receive water most of the time.
AFDB is financing other key priority areas in infrastructure rehabilitation and specific projects such as the rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam, the rehabilitation of water and sanitation infrastructure in Bulawayo and Marondera.
A delegation comprising officials from the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate and ZINWA are in Hague, Netherlands attending the Zimbabwe-Netherlands Drinking Water Business Development Platform meeting where they are discussing business development needs in Zimbabwe’s water sector, receiving pitches and expressions of interest from stakeholders in the Dutch water sector, match making as well as getting comments on funding perspectives.