THE Municipality of Chitungwiza, says it will soon approach the market to borrow US$2,5 million to undertake several infrastructure development projects.
The infrastructure rehabilitation and development projects are expected to enhance service delivery in one of Zimbabwe’s most populous urban settlements.
The town has not been spared from a decade of economic decline that left infrastructure in major urban settlements dilapidated.
Many local authorities have been failing to deliver services.
Last week, Chitungwiza said key among its proposed projects was the rehabilitation and upgrading of ageing waterworks and sewerage systems.
The upgrade of Chitungwiza’s water system is expected to cost US$230 000 while sewerage works rehabilitation is expected to chew US$660 000, according to a public statement issued by the municipality.
It said an additional US$414 000 would be required to bankroll the acquisition of road construction and rehabilitation equipment.
The town, which is situated some 30 kilometres south of Harare, has some of the worst roads in Zimbabwe littered with potholes.
While Chitungwiza is a fully fledged city on its own, it relies on water supplies from Harare.
In many parts of the city, burst sewerage pipes have become a permanent feature.
Residents are always at the risk of an outbreak of waterborne diseases.
In a notice to residents last week, Chitungwiza said any objections to the proposed expenditures should be lodged with city fathers by April 5 2013.
“Notice is hereby given that the Municipality of Chitungwiza intends to borrow an amount of US$2,5 million,” the statement added.
Raw sewage pipe bursts, persistent water cuts, dilapidated roads, rundown buildings, blocked public toilets, neglected community facilities and non-functioning street lights are some of the problems common in Chitungwiza.
Chitungwiza’s sewerage facilities have failed to cope with the growing population, which has been caused by a rising rural to urban migration in the past decade.
According to a Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition report released last year, in 1992, Chitungwiza was home to 500 000 people. In 2002, nearly one million people lived in the town.
“Chitungwiza’s sewerage treatment plant has been handling much more waste than the maximum 18 million litres a day it was designed for,” Crisis in Zimbabwe said.
“The raw sewage is now overflowing into the Manyame and Nyatsime Rivers which are all tributaries of Lake Chivero, the main source of water for the Chitungwiza and Harare,” it added.
The municipality said it also planned to purchase utility vehicles, fire tenders and ambulances and refuge compactors.
Meanwhile, the Hurungwe Rural District Council also said last week it had applied to government seeking borrowing powers to purchase road rehabilitation equipment.
It said it required US$158 769 to purchase a motorised grader, which is used to repair and rehabilitate damaged roads.
The authority sits at the heart of a network of damaged roads, bridges and other infrastructure which has been overdue for rehabilitation.
Like many rural authorities, Hurungwe had perennially relied on the District Development Fund (DDF) for the rehabilitation and development its ageing road network.
But DDF has almost collapsed due to underfunding.
Many of the Fund’s plants and equipment have been grounded due to lack of funding to replace ageing assets.
“Notice is hereby given that the council has resolved to apply to the Minister if Local Government, Rural and Urban Development for borrowing powers,” the local authority said in a public notice.
“Council intends to borrow US$158 769 for the purpose of purchasing a new motorised grader,” the notice added.