BCC battle to replace  old water meters

The city council here is struggling to replace about 18 000 outdated water meters after the foreign contractor it engaged is yet to fully grasp some of the demands of the project, in a move that is set to delay the whole process.

The delay is going to further cost the cash-strapped council which has been losing a substantial amount of revenue due to estimated water bills owing to malfunctioning water meters.

At one point, the city fathers attempted to implement prepaid water meters as part of mitigating the problem, but the idea faced stiff resistance from residents and civic society in the city who even organised a massive street demonstration against the move.
In the latest development, the city fathers noted the project’s delays.
“There were about 18 000 properties earmarked for installation of new meters, but the challenge was the delay in implementing the project.
“The contractor, being foreign, should have been informed about the Bulawayo challenges. The contractor had to operate according to the terms and reference of the contract.
“It was observed that data collectors had not been trained properly. It was a requirement that these be trained and be local. The contractor had been afforded the time to iron out such issues,” read the latest council minutes in part.
The city fathers, however, could not name the said foreign company as well as its country of origin.