Thursday, July 19, 2012
Thursday, 19 July 2012 00:00
Michael Chideme Municipal Reporter
WATER woes for Harare and surrounding areas will soon be a thing of the past after Kunzvi Water Development Corporation secured US$375 million to build Kunzvi Dam. The construction of the dam is expected to begin late this year and end in 2015.
Vinci of France and Group Five of South Africa have been engaged as the major contractors.
The two contractors, together with Locan Holdings (local), Development Bank of Southern Africa, Bigen (South Africa), Okada (Nigeria) and Swede Water, form the funding partners.
But Water Resources Development and Management Minister Sipepa Nkomo said he was not aware of the developments.
“Kunzvi Dam is a project for the private sector and maybe they could have sourced the money, but I am not aware of this,” he said.
If the dam is finally built, Kunzvi water is likely to be cheaper for residents and the city because it needs fewer water treatment chemicals.
Presently, the city uses up to eight chemicals to treat its water because it is heavily polluted.
KWDC chairman Mr John Mapondera confirmed on Wednesday that the loan had been secured and that world-renowned contractors have been engaged.
Officials from Group Five were part of the delegation that toured the dam site on Tuesday.
“The time has come for the construction of the dam. The project cannot be postponed any longer,” he said.
Mr Mapondera was giving a progress briefing to journalists after a tour of the dam site.
He said the identification of access routes from the Musami-Marondera road to the dam wall was in progress.
The actual construction of the road begins next month.
Mr Mapondera said finalisation of the Built-Own-Operate-Transfer agreement was in progress and once completed the funding would be released.
KWDC will operate the dam and its ancillary facilities for 30 years during which period it is expected to recover its investment before ceding the dam to Government.
Water from the dam is expected to supply Harare, Ruwa, Arcturus Mine, Chitungwiza and Juru Growth Point.
Integritas from Zimbabwe, Bigen and Brian Colquhoun (Zimbabwe) are the project engineers.
Mr Mapondera said he would work with Harare City Council to ensure that its water reticulation was upgraded to avoid wastage of treated water due to leaks and broken-down pipes.
Harare and its satellite towns currently draw water from the Manyame catchment area.
The estimated 4 percent yield of the four dams on the Manyame River, which are Seke, Harava, Chivero and Manyame, is 487 million litres a day. The city recycles 198 million litres of sewer effluent, bringing the total available for treatment to 685 million litres a day.
This is against a water demand of 1 200 million litres a day and a production capacity of 620 million litres.
Engineer Elijah Chifamba of Integritas said the Manyame catchment reached its supply limit in 1997 hence the need for Kunzvi.
He said the inclusion of Musami Dam, to be built 15km from the Kunzvi project, would help “wipe the current supply deficit”.
He said the Kunzvi project comprises the dam, raw water pump station, raw water transmission main, water treatment works, water reservoirs and a 14 00ha irrigation project.
The Kunzvi project has had many false starts. Timelines have been given before but nothing has materialised.