Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
BULAWAYO residents will continue paying the $1 water levy as part of the initiative to fund council water projects to augment the city’s supplies.
The levy was adopted by the council in 2010 as part of a fund-raising initiative to facilitate the implementation of the Insiza water pipe duplication. It was then shifted to the Nyamandlovu Epping Forest project as the money was not adequate for the massive Insiza project.
Bulawayo Mayor Councillor Martin Moyo said although the Nyamandlovu Epping Forest boreholes project is almost complete, residents will continue paying the levies to assist in the implementation of the Insiza pipeline project.
Clr Moyo said this soon after touring Epping Forest project together with city fathers and senior officials from the city council and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) last week.
Zinwa and the city council have been working on the completion of the $5,2 million project through funding from the Government, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and water levy from the residents.
“We still need the water levy to implement the Insiza pipeline project. The levy was introduced with a specific objective to complete the Insiza pipeline. But funds from the levy were diverted to the Epping Forest after we realised that Insiza was a massive project that required a lot of money.
“The cost of the project was more than $30 million. At that time there was only $4 million in the council coffers. A decision was then made to divert the money towards the Epping Forest project. It will therefore not be easy for us to scrap the levy because the Insiza pipeline project is not yet complete,” said Clr Moyo.
He said the completion of the Insiza pipeline will go a long way in bringing the Bulawayo water woes to end.
“Insiza is the biggest dam that we have and it rarely runs out of water. The challenge we have is that the pipe that moves water from Insiza to the treatment works is small and does not have the capacity to draw enough water.
“It’s important for us to duplicate the Insiza pipeline because it will immensely help the city improve its water supply,” said Clr Moyo.