By Mbekezeli Ncube
AT LEAST US$700 million is needed to upgrade all Bulawayo roads, most of them now potholed and uneasy to drive through, the city councils’ senior Public Relations Officer, Nesisa Mpofu has revealed.
Earlier this year, the local authority said 70% of the city’s roads were in a bad state, and renovating roads was part of their new year’s resolutions and now required US$700 million for the task.
“The City of Bulawayo requires an estimated US$700 million to bring the network to a good condition and to a relatively modest road system. To increase the number of roads in good or better condition by 15% (360 kilometers) in the next five years, a minimum level of investment of US$15 million per annum is required.”
“At the present moment, we are doing minor rehabilitation of roads, pothole patching while mobilising funding from ZINARA and the intergovernmental fiscal transfer (devolution) 2020 allocation for major rehabilitation,” said Mpofu.
Mpofu also told NewZimbabwe.com that approximately 16 000 out of targeted 18 000 water meters have been replaced as part of the municipality’s goals to improve water sanitation services in the city.
“The City of Bulawayo is currently implementing the Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP) whose objective is to improve municipal water supply and sanitation services contributing to the improvement of the health and social well-being of the population of the City of Bulawayo,” she said
“To date, about 16 000 water meters have been installed.”
One of the key components of the BWSSIP is the water mains upgrading, mains renewal, and bulk and domestic meter replacement project that is being conducted in various parts of the city.
However, water woes are escalating in the country’s second capital as locals now receive the precious liquid, at most, once a week.