MUTARE- The city council has set April 2021 as a new deadline for commissioning the much-awaited Christmas Pass-Dangamvura water pipeline project which, if completed, will be a game changer in addressing rife water challenges in Dangamvura high density suburb, Fern Valley and Industrial area.
Businesses located in the industrial area as well as residents in Dangamvura and Fern Valley have been hard hit by constant water challenges for almost 16 years.
Mostly residents in Dangamvura especially women were frequently seen in many spots in the high density suburb doing laundry at unprotected water sources.
So far the eastern border town's local authority has laid up new high pressure GRP pipes covering a distance of 1 152 metres out of a total 2 040 and a pipe bridge across Sakubva River is said to be 90 percent complete.
Mutare City Council public relations officer Spren Mutiwi said that the local authority still needs to raise an additional USD$250 000 in order to complete the Christmas Pass-Dangamvura reservoirs waterline project.
"We have planned to lay up all the GRP pipes by end of December this year. We have used more than US$97 000 and we require about US$70 000 more, for additional scope of works on Asbestos Cement (AC) pipes.
"Provided we raise the required funds and also anticipating some rain season-induced disturbances, the whole project should be commissioned by April 2021. We are still upbeat that will be able to meet our set time frame for this project," said Mutiwi.
He added that the local authority is pleased by the progress so far as it frog march towards retiring perennial water shortages in Dangamvura and surrounding areas.
"The completion of this project will herald a new chapter for Dangamvura, Fern Valley and Industrial business community. Our hands are on the deck to complete the long standing issue which has been there for more than 15 years," said Mutiwi.
Mutiwi once promised that Council will end perennial water shortages in Dangamvura by end of 2020 whilst speaking to TellZim News in an interview last year.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) Manica Chamber president Victoria Jakazi told TellZim News in a telephone interview that CZI Manica Chamber is organising a meeting with City of Mutare to hear on its progress towards retiring industrial area perennial water challenges.
"As industries we are in a process of convening a meeting with council so we can get more details about how and when we will benefit from Christmas Pass-Dangamvura waterline project. So I can only give a comment about council's pace in addressing water challenges after that meeting," said Jakazi.
United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Trust (UMRRT) programmes coordinator Edson Dube said it will be a welcoming development for residents if council meet their December target of ensuring constant water supply in Dangamvura.
"New economic opportunities will be ushered to residents who are incurring a lot of expenses in buying water due to rife shortages. There will be convenience particularly for the girl child and women in Dangamvura who often queue for longer periods in quest of the precious liquid.
"It’s disheartening that these challenges have been faced for almost 20 years," said Dube.
Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Association (MURRA) official David Mutambirwa said as residents they were unhappy about council's tortoise pace in executing the Christmas Pass-Dangamvura water pipeline project.
"They have failed dismally to meet all deadlines they had set for completion of this long overdue project. Council must convene an all stakeholders meeting so as to secure experts who can help to execute the project.
"They must swallow their pride since they are failing to timeously meet the set targets hence look out for retired and young engineers who can offer a lot of expertise," said Mutambirwa.