Byo gets US$34m lifeline from AfDB

BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has received close to US$34 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to revamp its water and sewer infrastructure, which has badly deteriorated amid economic decay in the last two decades, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

By Tinashe Kairiza/Talent Gumpo

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city, has perennially battled severe water shortages, compounded by dilapidated infrastructure.

The city says it requires at least US$1 billion to revamp its infrastructure.

The city is owed close to US$173 million by ratepayers.

Construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, which has been touted as the solution to Bulawayo’s water woes, has progressed at a snail’s pace owing to limited funding.

The dam is also expected to provide water to most areas in the Matabeleland area.

BCC senior public relations officer Nesisa Mpofu said AfDB has availed US$33,6 million to the city with the government contributing US$3,4 million towards the “water and sewerages improvement project”.

“The City of Bulawayo received a US$37 million African Development Fund grant (26 million units of accounts) from the African Development Bank.

“The Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP) is financed by the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Government of Zimbabwe through the City of Bulawayo,” she said.

Last month, the city invited bids for the “rehabilitation of outfall sewers Cowdray Park Catchment Area,” as part of the multi-million dollar project.

Under the project, which will commence in May this year, water and sewerage infrastructure in 21 wards will be rehabilitated.

The city will also explore ways of enhancing its billing system and possibilities of generating power from waste.

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