Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) requires $500 million to rehabilitate water infrastructure countrywide.

Zinwa corporate communications manager Mrs Marjorie Munyonga told the Parliamentary Portifolio Committee on Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality during a tour of the Zimunya Water Station that the money would ensure consumers receiving water from Zinwa’s 534 stations countrywide have water on their doorsteps.

The money would be used for the rehabilitation and upgrading of water purification plants, reticulation system and pumping facilities. In addition, the money will also enable the establishment of the irrigation master plan and institutional strengthening for Zinwa and local authorities where the projects are running.

She said Zinwa was not getting an allocation from Treasury for the purposes of rehabilitation and the situation was made worse by the non-payment of water bills by consumers.

She said only 40 percent of the consumers were paying bills and this was impacting negatively on the authority’s capacity to maintain infrastructure.

“It is not sustainable for Treasury to fund the rehabilitation and maintanance of the infrastructure. The best way is for consumers to pay their bills.

“At the moment we are operating below capacity because of non-payment of bills,” she said.

Zinwa operations engineer for Save Catchment, Eng Passwell Nyahora, said the authority had received a grant of $20 million from the World Bank which was going to be used for rehabilitation of water stations.

The first phase will see the rehabilitation of Zimunya and Lupane water stations while the second phase will include Guruve, Madziva, Mataga and Nembudziya water stations.

“We have so far received $10 million and work has already started at Zimunya and Lupane. Progress at Zimunya is at 6 percent and we expect the project to be completed by May 2018.

“The station currently runs using one single pump and if it breaks down there will be a huge problem.

“Through the rehabilitation project, the Zimunya station will have an extension of 200 percent and we are going to have 270 water connections with meters. The Zimunya project costs $1,8 million,” he said.

Zimunya water station supplies water to more than 6 500 people in the area.

Zinwa engineer Tendai Muyambo said Zimunya residents owed the authority $324 000 from unpaid water bills. We bill $12 000 a month and get around $4 000 from consumers.

“We bill directly to residents and at 40 cents per cubic metre for the first 10 cubic metres and 70 cents per cubic metre for the rest of the water.

“Seventy-five percent of the households are metered while we rely on estimates for those without meters. Customers should provide their own meters or replace non-functional water meters,” she said.

The committee will also tour Middle Sabi Irrigation Scheme, Checheche water supply, Tokwe Mukosi, Lake Mutirikwi, Mtshabezi Pipeline and Dam, Ncema Dam and treatment works, Gwayi Shangani dam project, Nyamandlovu Aquifer forest project and Kunzvi Dam sites among others.

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