Yesterday, Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) took part in the Service Level Benchmarking peer review site tour at the invitation of the Bulawayo City Council. The tour was to appraise stakeholders on the efforts the local authority is making to improve service delivery.

Stakeholders visited municipal dams, water treatment works, road works as well as environmental management projects. Below is an update from each of the visited areas:

Municipal Dams – Umzingwane dam is one of the six dams supplying water to Bulawayo. The dam capacity is currently at 26% and it may be decommissioned around November 2019 if it does not receive any inflows. The city gets its water from other sources such as Inyankuni Dam, Ncema Dam, Mtshabezi dam among others. Upper Ncema Dam is currently at 15% capacity and is also likely to be decommissioned at the end of the wet season if it doesn’t rain. Bulawayo City Council Director of Engineering said council also gets water from the Nyamandlovu Aquifer boreholes which are currently contributing 3 mega liters per day instead of an expected 26 mega liters. He added that there has to be dialogue with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) in order to increase the output.

Water Treatment – As a response to media reports on the city running out of water treatment chemicals, Bulawayo City Council said they have enough chemicals to last for at least six months. They added that there are some chemicals which cannot be kept in their storage for over one month but suppliers are constantly replenishing stocks at the warehouse. Stakeholders were assured that the quality of water in the city is safe to drink as it goes through meticulous purification processes before being channeled to households.

Roads – Council reported that the rehabilitation of roads was ongoing, with the latest road to be rehabilitated being 23rd Avenue.

Environmental Management – Stakeholders also visited “Ngozi Mine” landfill site in Richmond to assess the manner in which refuse is being managed by council. It was highlighted that council is already considering using a new cell as the one currently being used will be decommissioned soon. Stakeholders noted that currently there is no deliberate public education on the need to separate the waste at household level for the purposes of recycling. Currently recycled materials are handpicked by locals who sell to manufacturing companies at prices ranging from RTGS 0.15 to RTGS 0.30 per kilogram.

Cemeteries – The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has approved a proposal to build solar farms at the city’s cemeteries. According to the latest council minutes, the Director of Engineering Services Engineer Simela Dube explained that the project will not disturb the graves.

WILD believes that the Bulawayo City Council has taken an important step in continuously appraising stakeholders on progress being made in improving service delivery. It is this gesture that unlocks partnerships and strengthens the social contract between the local authorities and citizens.

Source: Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD)