Pungwe Water Project

On behalf of Nordic financiers, ZERO and Norconsult International conducted environmental audits of the Pungwe-Mutare Water Supply Project. The purpose of the audits was to ensure that the environmental basis for the financial support was met thus giving assurance that environmental consequences of the works were minor. ZERO and Norconsult International  interacted with all actors on the project and reported formally on a quarterly basis to the financiers through SIDA. The audit exercise was designed as a constructive undertaking in guiding all aspects of environmental significance but it had no explicit supervisory powers to direct actions by other parties.

As a  result of ZERO's suggestions to the project managers to have the project benefiting the community, arrangements were made for the local communities to draw water from the pipeline for various uses. Locals who had been displaced had appreciated the compensation they received as a result of loss of harvests on affected farming land or having shifted residences. The project also provided employment though temporary to locals as they were hired to undertake excavations.

The project was meant to enable the withdrawal of 0.7m3/s of water by gravity from Pungwe River within Nyanga National Park via a 4km-tunnel transfer into the Nyakupinga River drainage area where a 46km pipeline was supposed to gravity feed the raw water to Odzani Water Works. A 23km clear water pipeline was to then augment the City of Mutare gravity water supply system by feeding the storage facilities at Christmas Pass. As part of the project, site inspections were carried out quarterly.

Project Completion

ZERO continued to provide environment audits as technical assistance to the Pungwe - Mutare Water project. Several inspection visits to the project site were undertaken. The Environmental Audit Team, consisting of Norconsult, and ZERO held the view that inspection visits to the site and discussions with implementing partners were more effective in creating environmentally sound behavior than written reports. Positive responsive actions by contractors and consultants came about as a result of the Environmental Audit Team's presence on the site. Quarterly Reports (QRs) were produced and these proved useful for financiers as they served as an invaluable record of the project’s environmental dimension, while field visits were better at providing desired results.

The Pungwe-Mutare Water Project was completed in July 1999 and a comprehensive and detailed 10th Quarterly report was produced.