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“Sewer bursts had become a common feature, sometimes the sewage would find its way into the house, it was horrible,” says 54-year-old Ellen Chingodza, a Ruwa resident for the past 24 years.
“We did not get water from our taps for more than 10 years here in Ruwa, and we had become prone to water borne diseases, especially cholera,” said 24-year-old expectant mother, Pauline Tamai.
“I was receiving estimated water bills due to the faulty water meter,” chipped in another resident, Mutenda.
These are some of the experiences narrated by Ruwa residents during a ZimFund Community Engagement Workshop held in the town recently. The workshop aimed at learning, sharing ideas and best practices among beneficiaries about ZimFund’s interventions in their communities. The involvement of beneficiaries in designing and implementation of developmental programmes is essential in achieving sustainable and meaningful transformation.
Ruwa town is one of the urban centers in Zimbabwe struggling to provide clean water and sanitation services owing to broken down infrastructure at water treatment plants and sewage pump stations.
As a result of these challenges, Ruwa town was selected as one of the beneficiaries of phase two of ZimFund’s Urgent Water Supply and Sanitation Rehabilitation Project (UWSSRP II). ZimFund intervention in Ruwa includes; Replacement of broken water distribution pipes and sewer pipelines, Rehabilitation of Chiremba and Runyararo sewage pump stations and Ruwa Water Treatment Works as well as the installation of new pipelines at the distribution reservoir and procurement of sewer cleaning vehicles and trucks, water meters and associated goods.
The project involves replacement dilapidated water distribution pipes and sewage collection pipes in Runyararo Township.
“We started getting water from our taps in February this year after the replacement of old pipes in our area,” said Pauline.
“My water meter was replaced in March and since then I have been receiving correct bills,” said Mutenda.
Chingodza added: “We no longer experience sewer bursts after the installation of new sewer pipelines in our area late last year”.
Although Runyararo Township residents are now getting water after replacement of distribution pipes, water ia still rarioned. This is due to broken down infrastructure at Ruwa Water Treatment Works (RWTW), which is currently producing about 1.5 megalitres (1.5 million litres) per day even though its capacity is 7.5 megalitres per day. After the completion of ZimFund’s intervention, RWTW is expected to return to its full capacity, thus, ensuring that approximately 120.000 Ruwa residents get daily water supply, from the current three days per week, bringing new hope for the residents.
“We look forward to getting clean water more constantly as the project comes to completion, we are indeed grateful to ZimFund for intervening in Ruwa,” Pauline said.
“I would like to encourage fellow residents to pay their bills to help Ruwa Local Board sustain the great works being done by ZimFund,” said 63-year-old Samson Mucheragovha.
“As women, let us be on the forefront in taking care of the infrastructure given to us, as we suffer the most in the absence of proper sanitation and clean water,” added Mutenda.
The Ruwa water and sanitation infrastructure rehabilitation is expected to be completed by October 2018.
ZimFund is a US$145 million water & sanitation and energy program, initiated in 2010 after the 2008 Cholera outbreak. Its donors are; Australia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ZimFund is managed by the African Development Bank as part of its operations to improve living conditions in Zimbabwe. The African Development Bank Group supports other activities in Zimbabwe including agriculture, energy, transport, private sector and economic and financial governance.