Gweru Water Problems To Persist As City Seeks $64 Million To Replace Obsolete Equipment

GWERU City Council is in urgent need of US$64 million to upgrade the old and dilapidated water pumping system which has seen it failing to supply potable water consistently.

This has resulted in 10 high-lying suburbs going for weeks without water.

In a statement, town clerk Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza said because of obsolete equipment and a growing population of about 200 000 people, residents should brace for continued water woes until such a time when the local authority is able to secure the US$64 million.

“To be able to pump treated water at full capacity, there are rehabilitation works that need to be undertaken at our treatment plant and raw water pump station (Amaphongokwe and Gwenhoro) which mainly comprise of obsolete pump replacements and repair of mainlines and major fittings which have been costed to the tune of US$10 million,” she said.

“There are however, additional works that need to be done in the short and medium term which include upgrading water treatment plants, upgrading of water pumping mains plus pump stations, replacement of old and dilapidated pipe networks and other related works at a cost of US$54 million.”

Ms Gwatipedza said the local authority is experiencing a daily deficit of 15 mega litres for its population of about 200 000 residents who require over 60 mega litres of water per day.

She said the city needs in excess of 80 mega litres when industry if factored.

“Supply through the two treatment plants that is Gwenhoro and White Waters, with capacities of 60 mega litres and 5 mega litres respectively when fully functional brings the total a mere 65 mega litres per day. “Currently Gwenhoro Treatment Plant has an output of 40-43 mega litres per day while White Waters has an output of 1.5 mega litres per day giving a total of between 43-44 mega litres. Due to bottlenecks caused by civil mechanical and electrical equipment broken down, we cannot operate at full capacity.

The total water produced per day is not enough to meet the 60 plus mega litres that are required per day. With a deficit of 15 mega litres per day, we can’t fill our reservoirs. High lying areas which include Mkoba 14, 19, 11, 10, 1, 2, 7, 17, Haben Park and Ridgemont suffer because of the deficit,” said Ms Gwatipedza. She said due to frequent power outages and pipe bursts on council’s pumping mains, there are times when there is no production from the treatment plants further worsening the water supply.

Ms Gwatipedza advised residents that Gwenhoro Dam is only 26 percent full which translates to only five months’ supply.

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