MUTARE- Rampant inflation is threatening completion of construction of the final two kilometer stretch of the Dangamvura water pipeline which has been dormant for years, Mutare City Council has said.
Mutare Mayor Blessing Tandi said the cost of the last stretch of the 300 mm water pipeline is likely to balloon over the budgeted ZWL$3 million.
Year on year inflation is current in excess of 500 percent.
He said with the current prevailing macro-economic challenges the water pipeline project risks missing completion targets.
The pipeline draws water from the Christmas Pass water tank, from the Pungwe River via pipeline to the rest of the City of Mutare.
“Somehow the budget is slightly high for us considering the hyperinflation happening now, we were looking at close to about RTGS$3 million for us to lay those pipes to complete the last 2km stretch of the water pipeline.
“As we speak right now with this continuous escalation of prices most probably it will be higher than before but we are looking at doing this as soon as possible to ensure that our people in Dangamvura have water.
“Water supply challenges are a legacy issue in terms of infrastructural development that have not been addressed over the years and we inherited this challenge, we hope that we find partners to help us finish this project,” said Tandi.
Mutare city’s residential suburbs are under water rationing, with some receiving water three times a week, as the city is failing to pump enough water to residential and commercial stands.
Auditor General Mildred Chiri in the 2018 report on Local Authorities noted that Mutare City is running losses by failing to bill water that it supplies to the city, with at least 67% of treated water not billed.
In the report, the Auditor General noted that the non-metered water supply was due to thousands of dysfunctional water meters and dilapidated water infrastructure.
“I noted that 67% of the Council’s treated water (22 677 156 cubic meters) was not billed as it was lost mainly due to leakages, non-metered connections and accounts not created in the system,”
“The situation was worsened by the fact that the Council had 15 872 non-functional water meters,” read part of the report.