Walter Nyamukondiwa Mashonaland West Bureau
The Chinhoyi Municipality's water augmentation programme, which is expected to ensure uninterrupted water supply for ratepayers, has stalled after the tender found no takers.
The project was one of the pillars the town was leaning on to help attain city status expected to raise the town's profile to ensure that it attracts major investors.
The Municipality of Chinhoyi recently severed ties with a contractor who won the tender to implement the $22 million water augmentation project after failing to commence works within agreed timelines.
In an interview recently, city spokesperson Mr Tichaona Mlauzi said the municipality had, however, increased the pumping capacity of treated water to around 20 mega- litres per day from around 16 mega- litres.
"Regarding water, we have improved to 20 megalitres per day, which guarantees about 18 hours water supply every day for most areas, and in some cases about 24 hours," he said.
"There, however, remain some challenges in newly built-up areas such as Ruvimbo and Rujeko, which we hope to address soon.
"The augmentation project would have seen us reaching the optimum level of 30 megalitres per day."
He said council would soon re-tender the water augmentation programme to attract investors for the project which is expected to cost about $22 million on a structured cost-recovery basis.
Meanwhile, Mr Mlauzi said application for city status was work in progress. This comes as Chinhoyi won third place for the best solid waste management at a conference in Bulawayo recently.
They also won the same accolade at the Megafest northern region awards to establish an impeccable record in solid waste management.
The water augmentation programme has overrun its intended completion dates owing to the initial contractor's inertia.
It would have doubled capacity from the 16 megalitres per day to 30 megalitres, while the second phase was expected to eventually boost capacity by a further 10 mega litres.
The contractor, Southern Trading, had been initially engaged to supply smart water meters before the deal was expanded to include the water augmentation project.
Under the agreement, the winning bidder was expected to supply water meters, expand the town's water treatment plants and reticulation system.
The scope also included extending clarifiers and constructing an additional reservoir.
The reticulation system uses the gravitational system, which leaves distribution skewed in favour of low-lying areas.