Sukulwenkosi Dube Plumtree Correspondent
PLUMTREE Town Council has started upgrading its obsolete water infrastructure which has been causing erratic water supplies over the years.The programme is undertaken under the Urban Water Sanitation and Hygiene programme funded and implemented by the United Nations Children’s Fund in 14 small towns countrywide.
Acting town secretary, Elvis Maphosa, said they had submitted a project valued at $300, 000 for the rehabilitation of the 79-kilometre water pipeline.
“The programme of upgrading existing water pipe system has started. We have started the ground work and then we move onto replacing the old asbestos water pipes with galvanised iron and PVC material.
“This process is being funded by Unicef. We submitted our project proposal to have the entire 79 kilometres replaced and it was approved. However, we do not know how much work will be done under this particular phase,” said Maphosa.
He said Plumtree was continuously experiencing burst pipes because of the aged water infrastructure.
Maphosa said the council also had plans to upgrade the town’s entire water and sewer reticulation system.
The local authority recently took over the provision of water from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority.
Pumps that draw water from the two supply dams, Mhlanga Dam which is 14 kilometres from the town and Mangwe Dam which is located 56 kilometres away were recently replaced as well as several booster pumps along the water pipe system. This made the pressure of the water pumped too high for the obsolete pipe lines.
Maphosa said the council was also in the process of drafting a local development plan to ensure that the town’s residential area growth matched the industrial growth and development of the Central Business District.
“This framework will help us to ensure that growth in the town is not concentrated in one area. We are making significant progress in developing residential areas.
“So far since the beginning of the year we have 60 medium density and high density stands and we are now working on 481 high density area stands. These will be done in four phases and we are working on the first phase,” said Maphosa.
He said the council would use the local development framework to build a residential area which is proportional to the town’s economic activity.
Meanwhile, the local authority has started constructing three classroom blocks at Matiwaza Primary School which is expected to help ease congestion in existing schools within the town.
The council, however, failed to meet its target as the school was supposed to be opened last month. The local authority managed to mobilise building material through donations made from various players, including the business community.