THE African Development Fund (AfDB), through ZimFund, has allocated US$1,087 million towards strengthening sanitation services in Chitungwiza.

By Further Africa

The funds will go a long way in addressing the sewage problems in the area that are a cause of the recurrence of waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

Chitungwiza’s water and sewage infrastructure was constructed over 50 years ago and was designed to cater for only about a third of its current 500 000 population. The system, thus is overwhelmed, resulting in overspills of effluent.

The ZimFund support aims to address the municipality’s perennial overspill at several trunk sewer hotspots.

The intervention will concentrate on the upgrading and rerouting of the outfall sewer to run along the new Chitungwiza highway, and diverting and upgrading trunk sewers within the Seke areas of Luciano and Gomba.

The funds will also be used to reconnect the collector to the outflow sewers to prevent the frequent spillages caused by some houses being constructed on top of trunk and small sewers.

It will also provide utility vehicles in each of the three districts — Seke, Zengeza and St Mary’s — to deal with blockages in a timely manner.

It will also provide technical assistance, including inspection technology; operation and maintenance tools; the construction of manholes; and sanitation and hygiene education through the Chitungwiza Health Department.

The project is expected to start in July 2020 with a completion target of December 2020, provided that the COVID-19 pandemic does not derail its implementation.

It’s hoped the intervention will help residents lead safer, healthier lives.

Exposure to waterborne diseases not only poses a threat to local residents, but to those in Harare.

An estimated 150 000 Chitungwiza residents commute to Harare daily — perfect carriers for the disease in and out of the capital city.

And given that the Manyame River passes through Chitungwiza before emptying into Lake Chivero, Harare’s primary water source, any pollution entering the river system from Chitungwiza ultimately affects water quality downstream.