REGIS CHINGAWO IN MASVINGO
Residents want the Masvingo City Council (MCC) to expedite the completion of the critical Mucheke Trunk Sewer Project, which was stalled five years ago amid reports of financial irregularities.
The sewer project, which commenced in 2011 and was suspended in 2015 following a dispute with the principal financier, is an important part of the city’s sewer network, and will result in sewer connection to the new suburb, the Victoria Ranch, where residents are using blair toilets.
It is estimated that about ZWL$9m is required to complete the project, which entails the construction of a 7 km trunk gravity pipeline to convey sewer from the high-density suburbs of the city and from Victoria Range.
Once completed, the trunk sewer, which is a sewer line that receives waste water flow from the collector sewer and conveys this waste water either to an intercepting sewer or treatment plant, is expected to improve the dire situation and ease on sewer blockages.
Residents who spoke to the Business Times this week accused the local authority of ‘dragging its feet’ on the project.
“We are calling on Masvingo City Council to exude some seriousness on a vital project,” Masvingo Residents Forum chairperson Brighton Ramusi told Business Times.
“If you go to Victoria Ranch suburb right now, residents there are using blair toilets, something which is unheard of in this era, yet Masvingo is now a city.”
Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance spokesperson, Godfrey Mtimba, said some trunk sewer pipes that were purchased five years ago have been lying idle and some have been vandalised.
“Masvingo city council must treat this long-awaited project with some seriousness. If this project is completed, this will prevent perennial sewer blockages in the city,” Mtimba said.
“The city’s sewer reticulation system has now been overwhelmed by the population that has ballooned. There is a need for the Mucheke Trunk Sewer project to be completed like yesterday.”
Masvingo mayor, Collin Maboke said the city council was waiting for a government bailout through a devolution programme to enable it to complete the project.
Early this year, we managed to procure new trunk sewer pipes from some money we received from the government.
Once we get another chunk from the devolution fund, we will be able to make ample progress on the Mucheke Trunk sewer project, “said Maboke.