THE Bulawayo City Council Service Level Benchmarking (SLB) exercise that was set to take place from Wednesday failed to take off after the peer reviewers did not pitch up, citing short notice.
The SLB exercise was initiated in 2012 through World Bank funding and technical support as a response to the 2008/2009 Cholera outbreak, through the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ).
Various local authorities under UCAZ come to the identified council and engage in a peer review exercise on major projects being implemented, with the BCC exercise having been expected to focus on the city’s water delivery strategies.
“SLB is being implemented in all 32 urban areas though an iterative, interactive and participatory process of service level data gathering, analysis and a peer review mechanism to analyse service levels against agreed benchmarks. Since 2012 SLB has had tremendous contribution to the reduction of communicable and water borne diseases in urban areas.
“In addition, the program has been instrumental in identifying service level gaps commonly known as performance improvement plans to which resources from local authorities, government and development partners have been channelled towards,” reads the project’s description on the UCAZ website.
However, the SLB exercise that was meant to take place from Wednesday to Friday in Bulawayo got off to a false start after the peer reviewers failed to pitch up for the intended tour and meetings.
“We have been disappointed by our peer reviewers who failed to come for this important SLB exercise, therefore we have no choice but to postpone to later date that we will be informed by UCAZ,” said Bulawayo town clerk, Mr Christopher Dube while addressing members of the General Purposes council committee and senior council staffers who had gathered at the council chambers in anticipation of the meeting.
Some of the sites that were meant to be visited on Wednesday include; Umzingwane dam, Ncema water treatment works, Fernhill booster pump station, Criterion water works and the Richmond landfill site.