Roads, water and sewer works to transform Cowdray Park

11 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views
Roads, water and sewer works to transform Cowdray Park Houses in Cowdray Park

The Chronicle

Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
THE transformation of Bulawayo’s sprawling Cowdray Park suburb is under focus with the council engaging contractors to implement major civil works at the Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle area, which include road designs, water and sewer infrastructure.

The Bulawayo City Council recently flighted a tender inviting contractors for the works, which encompass design, construction, completion and maintenance of the 31,5m road from the existing Cowdray Park corridor to the proposed 40m road on the northern extents of Hlalani Kuhle.

Minister July Moyo

Local Government and Public Works Minister, July Moyo, has said the long-term plan was to transform Cowdray Park into a “stand-alone city”

The proposal, if it comes to fruition, will change the face of Cowdray Park, one of the largest suburbs in the country.
With 75 000 residents, Cowdray Park is larger than Gwanda town.

Cowdray Park suburb is dogged by poor roads, lack of water, sewer reticulation, electricity and lack of basic social amenities.
Council requires at least US$300 million to put water and sewer reticulation infrastructure in the suburb most of whose houses were built under the Government-funded Hlalani Kuhle Housing Scheme.

The area, which has more than 16 000 housing units is yet to be connected to sewer services although the Bulawayo City Council is working towards its connectivity.

Mrs Nesisa Mpofu

BCC corporate communications manager Mrs Nesisa Mpofu said council intends to construct 5,3 km of a new road built as a single carriageway including bell mouths at all intersections.

“We want to surface and sub-surface water drainage, do earthworks, pavements, kerbs, footways, traffic signs and markings, culverts and landscape works to mitigate the effects of the completed road, which stretches for 5,3km,” she said.

Out of the total road network of 101km in Cowdray Park only 1,2km stretch has been formally constructed.

“Otherwise, the 99,8km of Hlalani Kuhle road network was only bush cleared and topsoil removed to provide access to properties. While the design can be perceived as part of the modernisation of Cowdray Park, it’s actually the desired level of service,” said Mrs Mpofu.

Poor road network

“The design will provide a 5,3km stretch of a single carriageway road, which will be part of the bus route.”

The housing development for Hlalani Kuhle started before servicing with water reticulation, which is 98 percent complete while sewer reticulation is 33 percent complete, said Mrs Mpofu. Roads and storm water drainage is 1,2 percent complete.

The suburb’s exponential growth over the years not only offers huge opportunity for new business investments and housing development, but has also created a huge gap in terms of basic service delivery.

Cowdray Park resident

Cowdray Park suburb is divided into two parts – the pioneer development stands that are well serviced with access to electricity, water and sewer as well as the Hlalani Kuhle/Garikai area.

Residents who spoke to Chronicle yesterday said the poor road network in the suburb contributed to transport challenges.

“We are facing a serious transport challenge in some parts of Cowdray Park due to the roads, which are inaccessible. It’s even worse in the event that one gets sick and an ambulance is required to take them to a clinic or hospital,” said Ms Thandiwe Nyoni.

Cowdray Park resident

Another resident, Mr Talent Moyo echoed Ms Nyoni’s sentiments.

“The issue of roads is a serious challenge that needs to be addressed. In my case, I’m forced to travel a distance of about 2km to my nearest bus stop because where I stay the road is terrible, particularly during the rainy season,” he said.

When Chronicle visited the suburb yesterday, the news crew observed some residents filling up potholes in some of the damaged roads, which are inaccessible.

“As you can see for yourselves, we have taken it upon ourselves to fix the damaged roads because transport operators are pulling out of our route because of the bad state of the road,” said Mr Khumbulani Dube.

Cde Kidwell Mujuru

Councillor for Ward 28, which embraces Cowdray Park, Cde Kidwell Mujuru, said the poor roads impacted negatively on the growth of the suburb.

“Due to poor roads, business people are not willing to invest in Cowdray Park, which is why we don’t have proper shops. Tuckshops continue to sprout and harbour criminals,” he said.

“We have a new clinic that is being constructed in Cowdray Park by the Government and its partners, but how will the ambulances be able to ferry patients to the health facility given the bad state of our roads.”

Despite being allocated $110 million devolution funds by the Government three months ago, Cllr Mujuru said the local authority continues to delay in implementing key projects such as roadworks.–@mashnets

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