Victoria Falls builds reservoirs to solve water problems

The Chronicle

Leonard Ncube , Victoria Falls Reporter
PERENNIAL water woes bedevilling Victoria Falls City are set to be a thing of the past as council has started preliminary work towards construction of two reservoirs, all along the missing link, in Mkhosana.

For the first time the city will also have prepaid water meters in response to residents’ concerns about fixed and estimated readings, while households will have duplicated raw water pipes specifically for use in gardens once the massive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (Wash) project being spearheaded by the council is completed.

The local authority requires close to US$15 million for the Wash project which will result in an overhaul of the whole water and sewer system and has been courting investors without success.

The council recently disposed of some land to raise money for water projects after resolving to go it alone using its own resources starting with priority areas until the whole Wash project is completed.

The resort city’s residents especially in Mkhosana suburb endure endless water cuts because of lack of capacity by the local authority to distribute it to all houses.

While significant water is pumped from the abstraction point at the Zambezi River, the biggest challenge has been distribution of water because of lack of storage tanks especially for high lying areas like Mkhosana.

As a result, a power cut immediately cuts off water supplies in Mkhosana.

This, coupled with ageing pumping equipment has been causing perennial water challenges to the tourism destination which was conferred city status in 2019.

The local authority officials have also expressed concern about residents who waste treated water on gardens.

Victoria Falls’ Kalahari sands require lots of water and residents, hotels and lodges and businesses mostly use treated drinking water to water their gardens on a daily basis, reducing volumes that should be used for domestic consumption.

In an interview yesterday, Town Clerk Mr Ronnie Dube said the tendering process had started and actual construction work is likely to start in November.

Mr Ronnie Dube

“The council is working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to address the water issue. Our problem starts with abstraction and we are going to deepen the channel at the catchment area and put new pipes which will be in sync with pumps at the water works.

“But the elephant in the house is distribution especially in Mkhosana which goes for days without water. So, the plan is to construct a 5 cubic metre ground tank and a 750 cubic metre elevated tank.

Consultants are already working on tender documents and fortunately the council now has the money for this project because we disposed some of our properties specifically for this,” said Mr Dube.

The council sold stands 8300 south of Mkhosana and 1811 along Wood Road, part of the money which is being used for construction of reservoirs.

An elevated site has been identified for the project in Mkhosana while the holding tank will also have a booster pump to augment gravitational pumping.

Government early this year allowed Victoria Falls City Council to take over water management from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority as the council indicated that it had capacity to manage its own water pumping, purification and distribution.

Victoria Falls City Council

Mr Dube said the Wash project will be implemented in stages starting with areas that give value and benefits to residents.–@ncubeleon

Article Source: The Chronicle

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