ZimFund: Providing critical support towards Zimbabwe’s economic recovery agenda

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The Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund (ZimFund) is a short- to medium-term infrastructure development program which supports Zimbabwe’s economic recovery by improving the quality of life of ordinary citizens, particularly the poor. It is a major collaborative effort between members of the international donor community (Australia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), the Government of Zimbabwe, and the African Development Bank Group designed to rehabilitate infrastructure and restore basic services in water and sanitation initially in six municipalities (Harare, Chitungwiza, Chegutu, Kwekwe, Masvingo and Mutare) and energy throughout the country. The US $125-million Fund is administered by the African Development Bank, while Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is the nominal recipient of ZimFund grants.

Through the Urgent Water Supply and Sanitation Rehabilitation Project (UWSSRP) and the Emergency Power Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project (EPIRP), ZimFund provides financial and technical support to activities that are consistent with the recovery priorities of the Government, using a pool of donor resources that are mobilized on the basis of a common understanding of the country’s recovery needs.

Since the grants were approved, the Government of Zimbabwe has procured the services of two implementing entities, Lahmeyer of Germany and PB Power of South Africa, to oversee the management of these national programs in water and sanitation as well as energy sectors, respectively. Through a competitive bidding process, works, goods and supply contracts for the water and sanitation project were signed with an Indian firm, Technofab-Gammon JV, and Com.int. SPA, from Italy. Two sludge removal works were awarded to local contractors, R. Davis and Drawcard. Meanwhile, two smaller procurement contracts for the supply of computer hardware and software as well as capacity-building tools will be tendered out soon. Contracts for the energy project have been signed with CHINT Electric Company Ltd. of China, Angelique International Limited and The Indure (Pvt) Ltd. of India. Four consultancy services contracts have also been concluded with various consulting firms from Germany, Denmark, USA, Australia and Zimbabwe.

The goal of the Water Supply and Sanitation Rehabilitation Project is to improve the health and social well-being of residents in the above-mentioned six municipalities through an equitable provision of these services. ZimFund’s intervention will enable the provision of urgently needed support for the restoration and stabilization of water supply and sanitation services, by undertaking emergency rehabilitation of the systems and reducing pollution of the existing water sources.

In Harare, water treatment works at Morton Jaffray, Prince Edward, and Firle Waste will be rehabilitated, as well as the Crowborough Wastewater Treatment Works and the Little Marimba Trunk Sewer. In Chitungwiza, works will focus on the Zengeza Sewage Treatment Works, while Chegutu will see the rehabilitation of the Clifton Dam Pump Station, the Chegutu Water Treatment Works, the Sewage Pump Stations and Sewage Treatment Works. In Kwekwe, the Dutchman’s Pool Water Treatment Works, the Woodlands, East and West Sewage Pump Stations and the Northern Sewage Treatment Works will be rehabilitated. Masvingo will see the rehabilitation of the Bushmead Water Treatment Works, the Sewage Pump Station No.1, the Rujeko Sewage Pump Station and the rehabilitation of the Masvingo Sewage Treatment Works. Works in Mutare will focus on rehabilitating the existing Odzani Water Treatment Works, completing the partly constructed Chikanga Reservoir, the partly constructed Mutare Outfall Sewer and the rehabilitation of the existing Gimboki Sewage Treatment Works.

Most of the contracts for works and the supply of goods for the ZimFund water and sanitation project are expected to be completed by the end of first quarter of 2014.

The Emergency Power Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project focuses on rehabilitating the Ash Plant at the Hwange Power Station and several sub-transmission and distribution facilities in Atlanta (Murehwa), Criterion and Mpopoma (Bulawayo), Gweru, Kadoma, Marvel (Bulawayo), Mazowe, Norton, Pomona (Harare), Redcliff, Sherwood (Kwekwe), Victoria Falls, ZISCO (Redcliff), Zvishavane and various electricity-distribution facilities throughout the country.

This first phase of the power project has seven components. To date, three works contracts, valued at US $34.54 million have been awarded. These cover the rehabilitation of infrastructure at generation (namely the Hwange Power Station), transmission and distribution network. These contracts are at various stages of execution. Three consultancy and project management services contracts, to the tune of US $2.68 million, have also been awarded and these are also at various stages of implementation. A contract for environmental monitoring and capacity-building at Hwange Power Station as well as the environmental audit are currently being carried out. Works are expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2014.

According to the ZimFund Manager, Emmanuel Nzabanita, the expected results of the power project will be the increased reliability, quality and availability of water; restored wastewater treatment capacity and the reduced incidence of cholera and other water-related diseases. He further underscored that by increasing the electricity supply to the City of Harare water supply treatment plants, as well as other urban water-supply systems, ZimFund’s interventions will eventually reduce incidences of cholera and other water-related diseases. Hence there are strategic linkages between the two ZimFund interventions. Ultimately, the power project will improve environmental management at the Hwange Power Station, enhancing the reliability of power transmission and improving the distribution infrastructure in the country. It will also help to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that currently result from extensive tree felling for firewood, addressing system inefficiencies and frequent power failures in urban households. Through this project, power transmission and distribution losses will be reduced due to rehabilitated and upgraded equipment, hence system efficiency will increase.

The second phases of the ZimFund Water and Sanitation Project (US $35.99 million) and the Energy Project (US $32.94 million) were approved by the donors in July 2013 and implementation will commence in the fourth quarter of 2013.