By Senior Business Reporter
A deal amounting to $15 million which was struck between Redcliff municipality and a Hungarian investor early this year to alleviate water woes in the steel works suburb is in limbo.
This follows council’s resolve to revisit the deal which, “is not in the interest of the residents.
The deal was going to see the rehabilitation of a water treatment plant to improve water woes which have been dogging the dormitory town.
Then Mayor, Freddy Kapuya now Mhondoro Mubaira legislator said the negotiation for the Hungarian deal was going to see residents drawing piped water at very low rates from nearby Cactus Poorte Dam about 3km from the town.
Since the closure of giant steel works company Ziscosteel a decade ago residents have been experiencing serious water shortages.
The deal current Redcliff Mayor Clayton Masiyatsva said is not good for residents as it is not in the best interest of residents.
He highlighted that Cactus Poorte which is 3 km from the dormitory town does not have the capacity to service Redcliff residents.
“After we conducted feasibility studies we came to a conclusion that the deal is not feasible. We realized that the water source Cactus Poort which we were relying on is not able to sustain Residents in the long run,” he said.
Masiyatsva further explained, “Our top priority is to ensure that residents have a consistent supply of clean and portable water which the current deal cannot guarantee. Cactus will only be able to supply water to residents for at least 3 years a situation which is not sustainable to address our perennial water challenges. Therefore the deal needs to be revisited. What we need is a sustainable solution to the problem. We are therefore going to look at other means of how we can have a water treatment plant of our own”.
Redcliff owes nearby Kwekwe City at least $3 million.
We are in talks with Kwekwe city on the issue of debt and also supply of water to residents. The deliberations have been fruitful and we are expecting an improvement in water supply,” he assured residents who have gone over a year without consistent water supplies.
Water leakages, Masiyatsva said have also negatively impacted on consistent water supplies.
“The water situation has been greatly compounded by water leakages. We are working to address the problem as we are going to replace the valves using a funding which we recently got from government. Redcliff recently received $1, 8 million from government through the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP)”.
The PSIP fund Masiyatsva said is also earmarked for an upgrade of substandard housing flats on Torwood.
“We are going to rehabilitate the flats using the PSIP funding so that they get to be habitable. The current state of the flats in S Section is very pathetic. We have over 60 families sharing communal toilets and shower rooms. The inadequacy of the ablution facilities have left residents fearing for their lives especially the deadly cholera epidemic. The situation must therefore be addressed as a matter of urgency,” he said.