City of Bulawayo launches $37m water, sewerage project



Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

1 October 2016 – Harare, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe’s second largest urban local authority, Bulawayo City Council has launched a $37 million water and sewerage services project aimed at improving service delivery and curbing environmental pollution from raw sewage.


The programme, co-funded by the government and the African Development Bank (AfDB), is expected to run until 2019.

Speaking at the launch of the programme at a local city hotel on 27 September 2016, AfDB representative Eskendir Demise said they chipped in with funding following a request from Zimbabwe. “These are lofty, big, desirable outcomes, but achieving them requires a sustained effort by municipal authorities through overhauling the service provision and this project will be a catalyst for that to happen,” Demise said.

Bulawayo Mayor Martin Moyo said the injection of $37 075 000 would help the local authority reduce non-revenue water, frequent burst pipes, environmental pollution and sewer bursts.

“The City of Bulawayo, like many local authorities in the country, was affected by many years of under-investment in maintaining its water and sewerage infrastructure due to economic challenges,” he said. “The city is also further affected by limited water resources as a result of drought and despite these factors, the revenue collected by the local authority is not at 100%, as the rest is lost through leaks and burst pipes.”

Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Eunice Sandi-Moyo, in a speech read on her behalf, said the AfDB grant was “one of the biggest channelled towards water and sanitation infrastructure in Zimbabwe”. “The partnership highlights the Government’s commitment towards sustainable infrastructure in line with Government’s economic blue print, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-economic Transformation (ZimAsset),” she said.

“Sustainable water and sewerage infrastructure is key in ensuring economic growth and repositioning Zimbabwe in the region and African continent. Water and sewerage infrastructure depletion has become a major challenge for our urban areas, leading to pollution of water bodies and contaminated drinking water.” Sandi-Moyo said pipe bursts had led to untreated sewage being deposited into water bodies on a daily basis. “Addressing this problem is also a key component in ensuring that we have industry that is viable and able to grow,” she said. “Damages to the environment, through poor sewage systems in some cases across the world, have been catastrophic. Cleaning up the environment is a costly exercise, as toxins are very difficult to clean up.”

According to the official Zimbabwe Government National statistics from the population census carried out in 2012, the City of Bulawayo has a population of slightly over 650 000 and about 96% of the households in this population currently have access to clean water.

Source:  Project Management Zimbabwe

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes.  For information, visit www.pmiz.org.zw or email: [email protected].