Debra Matabvu – The Sunday Mail

OVER $1 billion in devolution funds will be sunk into 18 high-impact projects meant to rehabilitate Harare Metropolitan Province’s water reticulation and sewer systems, in a development expected to ease the capital’s perennial water and sanitation challenges.

The province also received $70 million from the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) for the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP).

The four local authorities under the province — Harare, Chitungwiza, Ruwa and Epworth — have already submitted devolution projects focusing mainly on water and sanitation.

Harare City Council has been allocated $1,1 billion, which will be directed towards 12 projects, including upgrading and rehabilitation of the Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant, the Crowborough Wastewater Treatment Plant and improvement of landfill sites in the capital.

Chitungwiza Municipality, which has been allocated $32 million, plans to procure two refuse compactors and an equal number of ambulances.

The Ruwa Local Board will use its share of $19 million on a waste management projects, while the Epworth Local Board, which will receive $185 million, plans to undertake feasibility studies for the construction of a quarry dam and rehabilitation of wastewater systems, among other projects.

Harare Provincial Development Coordinator (PDC) Mr Tafadzwa Muguti said all the projects were focused on water and sanitation. Local authorities are finalising auditing their books before the funds are released.

“The Harare Metropolitan Province now accommodates about seven million people, so what we have said to the four local authorities is that they should now focus on service delivery,” said Mr Muguti.

“We anticipate that all projects will be completed by December 31. Currently, we are working at upgrading two filters for water at Morton Jaffray Water Works, rehabilitating Crowborough digesters and improving landfills.  We want to create landfills in-between boundaries of the four local authorities.  We are also looking at fleet replacements, especially the refuse trucks. We have also said to the City of Harare they should drill boreholes, whereby they subcontract to drillers who will be paid by Treasury from the $1,1 billion that they have been allocated.”

Progress in the capital, he said, was being delayed by the city’s shambolic accounting system, which is not up-to-date.

He said Chitungwiza had been allocated US$185 000 through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s foreign currency auction system.

“Ruwa is currently crafting their work plans, which will focus on water and sanitation projects. Ruwa has also benefited from the ERRP, so basically some of their roads will benefit from the roads rehabilitation programme.”

Work on road rehabilitation is set to begin this week.

“Harare has been allocated about $44 million, while Chitungwiza will get $20 million, Ruwa and Epworth local boards will receive $5 million and $6 million, respectively.”

In his special Independence Day interview with The Sunday Mail Editor Victoria Ruzvidzo and ZBC’s head of television production Merit Munzwemberi, President Mnangagwa said devolution is positively changing people’s lives.

“Indeed, the concept of devolution under the Second Republic, we view it as a proper instrument that addresses challenges at community level, at the lowest level of our communities where the people at that level know what they want best, they know their priorities.