The Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ) has recognized in its Three Year Macro-Economic Policy and Budgetary Framework (MEPBF) (2010-12) as it did in the Short Term Emergency Programme (STERP) of February 2009, that a functioning infrastructure is one of the vital key factors for resuscitating the economy in addition to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of its citizens. For water supply and sanitation (WSS) services, a lot has been done to address emergency problems of the related infrastructure since the Government’s request for emergency assistance following the 2008/09 cholera outbreak in the country which resulted in 4300 deaths and more than 98,000 cumulative cases by June 2009.
While the deterioration of the services (mainly those of water supply) has been arrested, in some of the urban areas, there is a lot of work still to be done to stabilize and improve the services, not to mention the mammoth task of restoring the services in the rural areas. The proposed project is therefore part of the ongoing efforts to improve the overall infrastructure in the country and those of WSS in particular. The project is in line with the priorities of the GOZ and interventions prioritized by the Zim-Fund.
The purpose of the project is to provide urgent support for further restoration and stabilization of water supply and sanitation services in six urban areas including Harare, Chitungwiza, Mutare, Masvingo, Kwekwe and Chegutu (serving an estimated population of 4.15 million). The project will also boost the capacity of the six Municipalities in the operation and management of these services. The works entail urgent repairs and rehabilitation of critical installations including pumping stations, electro-mechanical works, treatment plants, and water supply distribution system. For sanitation, the urgent repairs include critical trunk and outfall sewers, booster pump stations and treatment works as well as treated effluent disposal facilities. Technical assistance will be provided to improve the overall corporate governance and financial sustainability of the services and boost the operation and maintenance capacity. While building the capacity of the municipalities planning functions, a medium to long term investment plans will be prepared for the towns. The project will also support community sensitization and promotion of improved sanitation and hygiene.
The total project cost is USD 29.651 million to be financed by the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (Zim-Fund). The works will be implemented over a period of 18 months. The six Municipalities covered by the project will be the direct beneficiaries of the project. The processing and implementation of the project will be guided by the Operations Manual developed for Zim-Fund. Due to the urgency of the project and special circumstances in Zimbabwe, the project will be implemented through an independent Project Implementing Entity (PIE) and Procurement Agency (PA) on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe. The project will receive an overall guidance from a steering committee to be established composed of key sector ministries and the Municipal Councils.