Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni delivered his first State of the City Address at Harare House last month.
The mayor reported on developments that have taken place at Town House since he assumed office in 2013 including council’s financial position, the environment, water supply, roads, health, housing, emergency services, waste management, as well as contracts and international relations.
Though the mayor mentioned a fair share of problems faced by the institution including, council’s pitiful balance sheet, the much-derided housing system, chronic water shortages, waste management challenges, and poor infrastructure, Manyenyeni also dwelled on a number of positive developments.
The mayor pointed out that despite facing various challenges his council was making progress in water provision, a result of the on-going rehabilitation of the city’s water and sewerage infrastructure. So far, council has managed to increase water treatment capacity at Prince Edward from an average of 50 million litres to 70 million litres per day, while 126 million litres of waste water is being treated at Firle and Crowborough sewage works.
“Implementation of these projects has resulted in water production output increasing from about 400 million litres per day in 2013 to 500 million litres per day as at 31 December 2015, and therefore water supply improvements across greater Harare,” Manyenyeni said.
In terms of roads, Mayor Manyenyeni explained that his council has managed to reconstruct a few previously impassable roads, install solar street lights on several others, install solar-powered traffic signals at various intersections, place road carriageway markings, and install speed humps on key roads.
“The state of roads in Harare has not been pleasant and council has been trying its best to ensure that the roads are in a better shape. Ever since the licensing of vehicles was transferred to ZINARA, the city has not had autonomy to ensure that proportionate vehicle license fees collected in Harare are used for the development of Harare roads,” explained Mayor Manyenyeni.
On the health front, Mayor Manynyeni said that council was currently focused on increasing the scope of services it offers to residents at its health facilities. Significant work on various polyclinics such as Mabvuku, Mbare, Sunningdale, Warren Park, Highlands, and Rujeko has taken place. The Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital has also been partially renovated.
Overall, Mayor Manyenyeni noted that his council was making admirable progress in its target to make Harare into a better place to live, “When we came into office, I indicated that our target was to leave council and the city better than we found it. Just over halfway through, I can reinforce that and assure you that it will happen.”
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