In 2009, the then Government of National Unity, through the Tendai Biti headed Finance ministry released US$4m to Marondera for the Wenimbi Water Project that was meant to rectify the water problem in Marondera town.
To date, the Municipality of Marondera is failing to supply adequate water to its residents with some areas having gone for years with dry taps.
Open Council Marondera, caught up with former Marondera Mayor Farai Nyandoro (2009-2013)who was at the helm when the funds were released to explain how the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) used the disbursed funds.
Below is Nyandoro’s explanation in his own words:
“The Wenimbi project started in 2006 with residents of Marondera being levied a development fee to fund the project.
In 2009, the US$4m was released by the Ministry of Finance under the then minister Tendai Biti. The funds were disbursed through ZINWA as all water bodies belong to the parastatal. ZINWA in turn sells raw water to council. Wenimbi Dam is controlled under Mazowe Catchment Area.
As a Mayor then, I pleaded with Ministers Sipepa Nkomo and Biti to release the funds. I personally worked with a ZINWA Area Manager then Engineer Katsande to ensure that the funds were availed as well as properly being used.
We then secured water pumps, booster pumps, pipes, trenching and piping among other things.
The current challenge is that the pumps that were installed at the water source are way too big than the carrying capacity of the pipes. The pipes are too small for the pumps. This means bigger pipes are required again.
Moreover the water treatment is now overwhelmed. It was designed for a small population and there is need to quadruple our plant if the current city fathers are futuristic. As for now we shall be on a permanent water management demand if the above issues are not addressed.
Wenimbi Dam water is fairly good in terms of number of chemicals used to treat it as compared to Rufaro Dam water which is heavily contaminated with sewer. China Water International is the name of the company that did the Wenimbi water project.It is also the same company that did Tokwe Mukosi dam project.
In 2013 we had awarded it a tender to expand our water treatment plant , unfortunately the disbursed funds were diverted to finance 2013 elections.
I think the US$4m funding did go a long way to address the water problems, but like I said the bottlenecks remain the small pipes in diameter, small water treatment and of course the now permanent load shedding.