Ruwa water pipeline nearly complete

The 13km Ruwa water pipeline will be commissioned before Christmas, marking the end of water woes that have bedevilled one of Harare’s satellite towns for the past 15 years, says Ruwa board chair Pinias Mushayavanhu.

‘The four-month project has taken two years to complete due to the slow pace of the treasury in releasing the $3.5m under the Public Sector Investment Programme,” he told The Zimbabwean. “The project is almost complete.”

Mushayavanhu said he disputed reports that his board’s inaction was the cause of the delay after it secured $3.5m from government and allegedly kept it in a bank account to accumulate interest. “In fact, treasury owes us over $1m of the promised money, as it has released it in bits and parts with the board having to source monies from elsewhere for the project to be where it is,” said Mushayavanhu.

“I have just communicated with the minister of local government, Ignatius Chombo, that the pipeline is almost complete and ready for commissioning before the year-end. But, this will not stop the pumping of water once everything is done.”

Ruwa has a population of 70,000 and requires 11 megalitres of clean water a day. The town has been the hardest hit by water shortages in the Harare metropolis and residents were sometimes forced to endure periods of up to five months without piped water.

“The water pipeline will end water woes, as Muzurusani dam, where we have a water treatment plant with capacity to treat 21 megalitres a day, can work throughout the year,” he said. “The dam usually runs empty as early as July and, with the pipeline, we can now pump more supplies from Nora dam, which gets water from the valleys, to feed Muzurusani.”

The Zimbabwean toured the project’s three pump stations, each with three 250kw pump units that can pump 570 cubic metres of water an hour.

Mushayavanhu said once the project was operating, water charges would go down and residents would determine the price at consultation meetings.

The chair of Wide Ruwa Residents’ Association, Garikayi Musuta, said the water pipeline should see water costing four cents a kilolitre in Ruwa.

“For a long time, we have been charged for water which we have not been getting. This project will cut council costs in water treatment chemicals by 50 per cent and we should get it for free,” he said.

Currently Ruwa residents pay a fixed amount of $12.

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