BULAWAYO – Bulawayo city council needs an estimated $500 million for a master plan to fix old and dilapidated water reticulation infrastructure that has become a major source of pollution in the city, Mayor Martin Moyo has said.
Moyo told delegates at the launch of the Inclusive Business Forum held at Holiday Inn yesterday that pollution had become a major problem in Bulawayo.
He said in some cases it was the councils’ fault not industry because council’s system had collapsed as a result of lack of funding.
“We have a master water plan to repair all the water reticulation system but it costs more than $500 million,” he said.
“We cannot fix all these things because we do not have the money and the resources. The infrastructure is now too old. We need to redo our underground pipes because they are now rotten and we often face the problem of burst pipes.”
Moyo said residents should strive to keep the city clean.
He said attitude towards litter was a point of concern.
“When you drive from Botswana it is clean but when you cross over to our Zimbabwean side it is very dirty. We should, as residents, therefore, try to exorcise the demon of littering and make sure we throw litter into our litter bins and keep our environment clean,” he said.
He said industries should also be aware of the fact that there are massive penalties for pollution.
“We have penalties and give punitive tickets through the Environmental Management Agency (Ema) to companies that discharge substances that pollute the environment.”
But he said his council does not always believe in punishing people so council officials discuss these issues with the companies to remedy the situation.
The mayor said one of the major problems in Bulawayo was deindustrialisation. he said companies should give information to the city council so as to create opportunities for other businesses.
“If the information is readily available then we have a resource centre for industry and commerce to utilise, local industry will know where to find inputs for their business and local suppliers will also know who wants what creating unlimited opportunities for others to start businesses that will supply the necessary inputs,” he said.