By Sifiso Sibanda
CONTRACTORS, who were awarded contracts for the 252 km Gwayi Shangani-Bulawayo water pipeline, are now on the ground, with the government confident they will meet the set timelines.
The water pipeline project is key towards addressing perennial water challenges in the country’s second-largest city and the entire Matabeleland region.
During a tour of the project in Luveve, Bulawayo this Friday, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes, Dr Joram Gumbo noted the critical impact of the project, hence the need for government and contractors to ensure timelines set by President Emmerson Mnangagwa are met.
“This project is so critical for Bulawayo and Matabeleland water supply and development to the point that any delays affect the whole region and the country so we have to push for the timely disbursement of funds so that contractors continue and meet the set deadlines,” said Dr Gumbo.
“So I have seen and know the challenges that were affecting this project and we as the government will unlock those resources and make sure the work continues. Let me state that the current delays in the disbursements of funds were caused by selfish contractors who rush to the parallel market to change money an issue that was impacting the exchange rate of our currency and we want to deal with that as well.”
Each of the 11 contractors was allocated a 21 km section to work on and to date, 154 km have been cleared with 9,51 km having been excavated.
Sites for the installation of up to six pumping stations have been identified in Nyamandlovu, Igusu, Umguza, Ngami, GoodLuck and at the Dam site to supply an agriculture greenbelt along the pipeline.