Auxilia Katongomara, Business Reporter
GOVERNMENT yesterday officially commissioned a $1,2 million upgraded sewer system at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport on the outskirts of Bulawayo.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) undertook the project through a contractor. The project is expected to serve the airport and surrounding areas.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Engineer George Mlilo, presided over the event on behalf of the minister, Dr Joram Gumbo, who could not attend. The upgrading of the aviation infrastructure is critical to national development as facilitates trade and tourism through movement of people and goods in a more cost effective way.
In a speech read on his behalf by Eng Mlilo, Dr Gumbo said Government will continue to support the aviation industry due to its strategic importance in all facets of the economy.
“Government recognises that air transport is pivotal to the economic growth of our country as it facilitates trade, tourism and regional intergration through improving the movement of people and goods in a more cost effective way.
“It is, therefore, evident that refurbished aviation infrastructure has the greatest potential to spur economic growth in our country,” said Dr Gumbo.
“This view point is amply demonstrated by the commitment the Government has shown in undertaking vital and necessary aviation infrastructure developments throughout the country.”
The minister said the commissioning of the sewer system comes after a new trajectory by the new political dispensation, which adopted the Rapid Results Initiative to speed up project implementation under the 100-days programme.
“Notable projects include the newly upgraded and commissioned Victoria Falls International Airport. It is pleasing to note that the same airport will undergo massive deployment following the conclusion of a $150 million concessionary loan agreement with the People’s Republic of China,” said Dr Gumbo.
“The works will commence soon making RG Mugabe Airport a regional hub. It is in this spirit of development that we pledge to continue supporting the aviation industry given its strategic importance to national development.”
Dr Gumbo said following the commissioning of the JM Nkomo International Airport on 22 December 2013, the increased capacity was now straining the sewer system hence the implementation of the project to ensure the airport mantains its world class standards. The refurbishment of the sewer system will go a long way in meeting the expectations of our citizens and visitors, he said.
Dr Gumbo told delegates that CAAZ used its own resources to finance the project and this has ensured that JM Nkomo Airport remains the smartest airport in the country. He thanked the contractor RCM Civils and the consultants, Civil Consult for a job well done.
“The contractor worked tirelessly given the tight schedule to ensure proper completion. Allow me to conclude by urging all airline executives, aviation industry players, business executives and the public at large that this asset has also been availed to you for your convenience. It is, therefore, now incumbent upon you to fully utilise this facility,” said Dr Gumbo.
Matabeleland North Environmental Management Agency provincial manager, Mrs Chipo Zuze-Mpofu, commended CAAZ for the construction of the sewer ponds saying this came as they have for the past decade been discharging raw sewer and effluent into the environment.
The event was attended by CAAZ chief executive officer, Mr David Chawota, Bulawayo City Council engineering director engineer Simela Dube and officials from EMA and members of the community. — @AuxiliaK.