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2024 | Book

Urban Infrastructure in Zimbabwe

Departures, Divergences and Convergences


About this book

The book provides insights into urban infrastructure debates and discourses in Zimbabwe. Through an inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary approach, the book explores the theoretical, conceptual and lived experiences in urban infrastructure. The book focuses on case studies relating to urban transport, public housing, water and sanitation and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) among other substantive issues relating to urban infrastructure and services.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Infrastructure, Utilities and Services: Theoretical Keystones
This chapter aims to examine infrastructure development and its associated utilities and services. It assesses the link that exists between urban infrastructure provision, including its utilities and services, and economic growth in a bid to understand how they correlate. Based on the use of thematic and content analysis, the chapter provides an in-depth investigation of infrastructure investment. Infrastructure development is one of the bases for assessing the achievements of leaders, and it is the foundation of good governance. The linkages between infrastructure and economic growth are multiple and complex. Infrastructure has always played a key role in integrating economies within a region, and well-developed and efficient infrastructure is essential for a region’s economic development and growth. It is evident that lack of infrastructure results in production bottlenecks for sustainable growth and poverty alleviation. To deal with challenges and maximise the opportunities, governments and policy-makers should have responsibility for undertaking best practices to fully unleash and utilise the economic and related benefits of infrastructure.
Innocent Chirisa, Marcyline Chivenge, Thembani Moyo
Chapter 2. Urban Development and the Financing of Low-Income Housing in Zimbabwe, Post-2000
This chapter explores, documents, and analyses the impacts and implications of by the absence of a robust package for low-income housing finance in Zimbabwe, using case study and document review (with thematic content analysis). The current operation system for low-income housing finance is through a multilateral partnership of the public, community, and private sectors. The private and public sectors define the orthodox finance system, while the community sector represents the informal approaches to housing microfinance. Due to the failure of the economy and the exclusive nature of banking systems, most people do not qualify for formal housing finance systems. This exclusive nature of the available housing finance comes against a bulging urban poor population. The microfinancing mechanisms that have emerged present challenges to both the providers and the end-users. One of the major challenges is tenure security that is not guaranteed for housing provided via the informal systems. This problem surfaced in 2015 with the rise of the land barons who duped home seekers. It is concluded that providing low-income housing in Zimbabwe over the last two decades (2000–2020) has been characterised by serious disharmonies, inconsistencies, and instabilities—mostly victimising the poor. It is suggested that a robust system of housing finance be developed with substantive backing by the government, with sustainable urban planning being the launchpad for this.
Innocent Chirisa, Takawira Mubvami, Brilliant Mavhima, Abraham R. Matamanda, Thembani Moyo
Chapter 3. Encroachment of the Harare Central Business District Boundary into Bordering Suburban Areas: Implications for Spatial Policy
The decline of the city centre and a surge in demand for affordable commercial space has led to the expansion of the city centre of Harare into surrounding residential areas. However, as the market forces of supply and demand drove the expansion, no comprehensive study or planning has been conducted to ensure harmonious co-existence of commercial and residential land uses. This chapter explores the growth of Harare’s Central Business District (CBD) and its integration into the surrounding residential areas. Following the New Urban Agenda principles, the chapter examines the impact of the CBD expansion into residential areas on Harare’s inner city land use inclusiveness. Primary and secondary data was collected through semi-structured interviews, document analysis, and spatial mapping using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The chapter reveals a form of gentrification through upzoning, a process where high-value land uses (such as commercial) replace low-value land uses (such as residential). The phenomenon has led to increasing decay of the city centre and dilapidation of infrastructure. The sustainability of spatial policy in Harare is in jeopardy as the CBD boundary continues to expand.
Maryjane Chikukwa, Abraham R. Matamanda
Chapter 4. The Search for Sustainable Transport Infrastructure in Harare: Integrating Intelligent Transport Systems
This chapter seeks to unravel scopes of intelligent transport systems (ITS) in urban areas and proffer the challenges of and prospects for integrating ITS in the management of road transport infrastructure as a way of examining sustainable transport infrastructure, achieving transportation objectives and lastly giving policy recommendations on the management of traffic and its infrastructure through ITS. The study is purely qualitative in nature and will use qualitative methodology. Overall, developing countries have been battling with the cost of providing appropriate and sustainable road infrastructure in search of mitigating severe transport disorders such as congestion, grid locks and environmental challenges. However, the quest for sustainable transport infrastructure and achieving safety and convenience objectives remain rhetorical in modern day cities, although sustainable urban transport provision is one of the aims of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Other sectors, such as the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, have already embraced the traits and tenets of intelligent systems (IS), especially in the wake of COVID-19. It is also important that the system is applied in the transport sector, where a chaotic transport situation is witnessed, especially in large urban areas. This chaotic situation is providing a headache in the management of traffic and its infrastructure, to an extent that city authorities have had to resort to manual methods of managing traffic such as deploying police officers at major intersections. It is an undeniable fact that the majority of people in urban areas rely heavily on public road transport such as the commuter bus that uses and abuses traffic infrastructure heavily. Various scopes of intelligent transport systems (ITS) will ease the management of traffic and its infrastructure, especially in metropolitan areas where transport disorders are now severe and becoming a menace. It is against this background that the integration of ITS in managing traffic and its infrastructure will be an alternative for sustainable transport infrastructure.
Nesbert Mashingaidze, Chipo Mutonhodza
Chapter 5. Traffic Congestion Reduction Measures for Mbudzi Roundabout, Harare
The chapter assesses the possibilities of accommodating the large traffic volumes through redesigning the Mbudzi Traffic Circle (MTC). The Mbudzi Traffic Circle, alternatively referred to as the Mbudzi Roundabout, stands out as one of the most important routes linking Harare and her regional counterparts. Over time, the MTC has become increasingly congested during peak hours of the day, resulting in a failure to effectively accommodate locals and regional travellers alike. This has not only affected city performance, but also human productivity. The study took an explanatory-sequential design approach to data collection, where data from traffic counts was collected quantitatively. Further data was gathered through observations, key informant interviews and questionnaires. The study reveals that traffic levels have increased over the years for various reasons, such as the increase in the number of stands and road users, dualisation of the Harare-Masvingo Road and the parking of regional buses along the entry width of the MTC. To fulfil the Sustainable Development Goal of creating sustainable cities and communities, and the New Urban Agenda that aims to create a better and more sustainable future, there will be a need to channel city development in a way which is proportional to improvements in the road system.
Tinashe Natasha Kanonhuhwa, Joel Chaeruka
Chapter 6. Slum Development and Property Values of the Harare Eastern Suburbs
The chapter is assembled from a study that sought to investigate the impact of slum development on property values in the suburbs of Caledonia, using Manresa, Tafara and Damafalls as case studies. The existence of slums leads to a reduction in the demand for properties (compelling property owners to dispose of their properties and move to other suburbs), high crime, prostitution and depressed property values. The study had the following objectives: to establish the causes of slum development in the Caledonia neighbourhood, to identify the factors affecting property values in suburbs neighbouring Caledonia, to assess the trend in property values of neighbouring suburbs from 2006 to 2018, to analyse stakeholders’ perspectives on property values in these suburbs, and to suggest measures to improve property values of suburbs neighbouring Caledonia. The study used non-probability sampling methods such as purposive and systematic sampling techniques. The respondents were of the view that the slums lead to a reduction in the demand for properties in neighbouring suburbs. The researcher recommended that drastic measures be taken to improve property values in suburbs adjacent to the slum development. Property values can be improved through slum upgrading projects such as urban renewal.
Wiseman Kadungure, Leonard Chitongo
Chapter 7. Higher Education Institutions and the Socio-Economic Sustainability of “Declining” Towns
The establishment of resource-based towns has long-term effects relative to economic sustenance of the town once activities deplete. This leads to declining mining settlements or ghost towns. The means to resuscitate former mining settlements is a challenge in both developed and developing countries. This chapter explores the impact of establishing a Higher Education Institution (HEI) in a former mining town in Zimbabwe. Various studies in Zimbabwe reveal that resource-based towns were negatively affected by the depletion of the key economic resource, resulting in the abandonment of the towns. However, the existence of infrastructure in the form of houses, offices and community halls at some of these towns attracted Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to the towns. The establishment of HEIs at declining resource-dependent towns has great potential to transition the affected towns into sustainable and vibrant urban centres. Despite the attraction of HEIs to declining towns in Zimbabwe, there has been limited research exploring the impacts such establishments have on the economy of the host towns. Interviews with town planners and mining officials, amongst others, reveal that the university increased employment creation, business opportunities and infrastructure development. However, to achieve long-term socio-economic sustainability, there is a need for the diversification of the economic base, innovation and partnering in development initiatives.
Rutendo Chadzamira, Benviolent Chigara
Chapter 8. Conversion of “Bachelor” into Family Hostels in Mbare, Harare: Lessons from South Africa
This chapter is premised on the idea that if the bachelor hostels in Zimbabwe had been “familised”, the decadent situation characterising them now could have been avoided. Apparently, South Africa has made significant strides in providing decent housing and habitats to its citizens since democracy in 1994; it converted the male-only flats into family hostels. This has not been the case in Zimbabwe; since 1980, when it attained independence, the country’s cities have failed to provide decent accommodation to urban residents. Like all other municipalities in Zimbabwe, Harare had an opportunity to convert the colonially labelled “bachelor” accommodation into family hostels, but this did not happen. This could have averted the disasters resulting from the overcrowding which has resulted from high occupancy rates in the existing flats/hostels, most of which have a single room which the whole family now shares. The average nuclear family in Zimbabwe is six persons. The single room is now shared between two or so households. In the past, the rooms were regularly inspected, and no cooking was allowed, but now various services including lighting and heating are offered. Frequent power cuts are experienced. The ablutions are in a filthy state. The lack of garbage collections and frequent sewer bursts make the general habitat squalid and an eyesore. An unwelcoming stench is the order of the day. The dwellers have somewhat adapted to these conditions, but they are nothing but a manifestation of the violation of Section 73 of the country’s Constitution (Amendment No. 20 of 2013) which spells out Environmental Rights. For the dwellers, it is “business as usual”. There is much to learn from how South Africa has sought to deal with the adverse situation of not converting bachelor flats into family housing. The chapter uses literature and document review to bring facts into clear light.
Innocent Chirisa, Liaison Mukarwi, Abraham R. Matamanda, Thembani Moyo
Chapter 9. Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Plant for University of Zimbabwe Technical Staff Housing, Hatcliffe Harare: A Site Analysis
Collection and treatment of wastewater have a huge impact on the environment and economy, both at the local and global levels. To achieve sustainable sanitation services, we need to overcome the limitations of conventional centralised wastewater treatment (sewerage) systems. This chapter seeks to find an ideal location for the establishment of a decentralised wastewater treatment plant as a way to reduce pressure on the already existing centralised treatment plants. Using a case study of Hatcliffe in Harare, an attempt was made to select decentralised treatment plants with appropriate wastewater treatment technologies using Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques. Decentralised wastewater treatment systems are being used as an environmentally friendly and economic strategy for wastewater in Harare. It is generally agreed that cities are facing rapid urbanisation. This results in informal extension of cities into peri-urban and rural areas. The expansion of cities leads to problems in infrastructure maintenance and development. The sustainability of urban water management and sanitation poses serious challenges in most developing cities. In Harare, problems in water supply and wastewater treatment have already been noticed. Wastewater generation, treatment and disposal strategies which are centralised appear to have several limitations. Decentralisation appears as a rational solution to tackle sustainability problems of wastewater management systems, as it focuses on the on-site treatment of wastewater and on local recycling and reuse of resources contained in domestic wastewater.
Marcyline Chivenge, Innocent Chirisa, Thembani Moyo
Chapter 10. People-Centred Initiatives as a Response to Infrastructure Collapse in Harare
Most local governments and utilities responsible for infrastructure provision and maintenance in Zimbabwe have huge infrastructure backlogs. This is in terms of both programmed maintenance and upgrades to cater for population growth and urban expansion. This is happening within a context of documented rapid urbanisation and population growth. Water is in short supply, roads are poorly maintained, waste is irregularly collected, and electricity services are erratic. Residents are tired of complaining in vain and are devising their own strategies to cope with poor infrastructure due to lack of or poor service delivery. Previous research has focussed on the extent of service delivery and infrastructure collapse. Using interviews, storytelling and field observations, this research sought to examine the strategies that people have devised to survive infrastructure failure resulting in poor service delivery by the authorities. It answers the questions: What are people doing when they are not supplied with water or electricity? What do they do when their roads are full of potholes and the authorities are not responding? What do they do when waste is not collected? How sustainable are the people’s coping mechanisms in the different infrastructure areas? How does this affect Harare’s capacity to meet the expectations of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda (NUA)? The chapter argues that while such people-centred mechanisms have had some positive outcomes, they will also have far-reaching impacts on governance and the exercise of power by authorities.
Percy Toriro
Chapter 11. Parking Space Management and Revenue Collection in Masvingo City
Parking management systems are an important tool to control inner-city accessibility and at the same time improve the municipal revenue base. The expansion and regular maintenance of the existing urban parking space requires sustainable funding. The emerging question for most cities in developing countries is how best parking management can positively impact the city’s revenue collection. Thus, the aim of this study is to explore the strategies that can be adopted in the management of city parking space in a bid to improve revenue collection. The research made use of mixed methods design that was dominantly qualitative, to understand the parking management system in Masvingo. Convenience and purposive sampling techniques were used for the selection of general respondents and key informants, respectively. Both primary and secondary data was collected through in-depth interviews, observations, and literature review. Content and comparative analyses were used to analyse data. The results of the study showed that well-planned and -implemented parking management allow a substantial improvement in accessibility within and towards the city centre and increase municipal revenue generated from the city’s parking space. The study recommends the establishment and implementation of parking policies that guide the pricing of parking space and how the generated revenue should be used. It is also recommended that Masvingo City Council should improve security in the parking bays by installing street cameras and, where possible, employing security personnel to provide for safer parking environments for motorists. Safety is an important variable that motivates motorists to pay their parking fees and therefore improves municipal revenue collection efficiency.
Tariro Mataruse, Tazviona Richman Gambe
Chapter 12. Innovative Infrastructure Financing in Small Towns: A Comparison of Marondera Municipality (Zimbabwe) and Thulamela Local Municipality (South Africa)
This study seeks to compare infrastructure financing successes and challenges in Marondera Municipality in Zimbabwe and the Thulamela Municipality in South Africa. Infrastructure financing is critical for providing services essential for the social, economic, and environmental well-being of cities. Traditionally, central governments have been responsible for funding infrastructure investment needs at local levels. However, the fiscal distress faced by many governments in developing countries has forced small towns to formulate alternative strategies and arrangements to finance capital investment or infrastructural maintenance needs. The main data-gathering techniques for this study were key expert-based interviews and a review of relevant institutional documents. Data analysis was largely qualitative, augmented by quantitative data to support qualitative findings. Results show that in some cases, market-based financing and local own-source revenue strategies have been successful, although more often than not there are challenges which come as a result of the restrictive policy environment, inadequate skills for resource mobilisation, and lack of public support. The study proposes building on lessons from the current strategies and contextual application of best practices from other developing countries as strategies for improving infrastructure financing mechanisms which resonate with financing principles echoed by United Nations (UN) in the New Urban Agenda. These lessons include enhancing the responsiveness of municipal land-use planning to market dynamics, improving value capture methods, legislative support, improving municipalities’ skills in designing and managing Public–Private Partnerships, and continuous public engagement.
Wendy Wadzanayi Tsoriyo, Frank Moffat
Chapter 13. Using GIS Technology in the Provision of Urban Infrastructure in Slum Settlement Upgrading: The Case of Hopley, Ward 6, Harare South
The purpose of this chapter is to describe regularising a disorderly settlement using Arc and Quantum Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies for settlement upgrading. The urban human settlement development trajectory requires that urban settlers occupy an area planned and already serviced with offsite infrastructure, but in this instance, people occupied and built on land both unserviced and unplanned. There are no defined boundaries for residential stands, let alone clear circulation networks, road infrastructure, water and sewer reticulation networks, adequate social services such as schools and clinics, community boreholes, or water points. The extent of the area identified for the study is Zone 6, that only forms part of the whole Hopley settlement. Participatory GIS application in settlement upgrading ensures that slums in wetlands, and the total number of slums that need relocation or demolition, are identified. There will be improved access to the tenure system, housing quality and climatic change awareness. This fulfils the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 11 that seeks to promote and improve the standard of living of people, thereby creating an inclusive, safe and resilient urban society. Part of the settlement that is closer to the roundabout (Ward/Zone One) was identified by Government for the Garikai Housing scheme and is being formalised. Urbanisation is most pronounced in lower-middle-income zones (high-density areas) of the developing world, creating many spatially related problems that include the mushrooming of uncoordinated settlements called slums/shacks, widely known for lacking corresponding basic infrastructural services, such as water and sanitation, roads, electricity, sewer networks, schools, clinics, hospitals and commercial and business centres. It is estimated that in Sub-Saharan Africa about 14 million people migrate to towns and cities each year. Out of this figure, about 70% end up in slum settlements, with only 30% living in formal settlements.
Knowledge Murenje
Chapter 14. Constructed Wetlands as Alternative to Conventional Wastewater Treatment: The Case of Gimboki, Mutare
Constructed wetlands have great potential as an alternative to conventional sewage treatment facilities. Constructed wetlands mimic the natural process to treat polluted water. Developing countries such as Zimbabwe should explore the potential benefits of such systems considering their cost-effectiveness, energy-saving, high water treatment efficiency, surrounding environment, and ease of operation and maintenance. Therefore, this research tried to assess the potential of constructed wetlands as an alternative to the Gimboki Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Mutare, Zimbabwe. In this chapter, the types of constructed wetlands are explored and how they are operated is reviewed. Then the potential benefits of constructed wetlands are studied. An expert interview was carried out with key informants from the Environmental Management Agency and Local Authority regarding the potential of constructed wetlands as an alternative treatment approach to the Gimboki Wastewater Treatment Plant, and this is discussed. The opinion of the Department of Physical Planning was also sought on whether the existing land-use policy would allow constructed wetlands to be included. The chapter demonstrates that the Gimboki WWTP faces many challenges and poor quality of treated wastewater. Therefore, it is recommended that constructed wetland technology be explored as an alternative treatment process. The chapter recommends forming a strong partnership among institutions and creating education campaigns and training programmes on the constructed wetland technology.
Priscila Chioneso Banda
Chapter 15. Geo-Database and Infrastructure for the Informal Manufacturing Sector in Harare
Echoing calls on various fronts in the public and private sectors have highlighted the need for developing a comprehensive informal sector database that has sufficient and up-to-date data. In as far as it can be ascertained, such a comprehensive database satisfying the needs of a wide array of stakeholders is yet to be created. A multiple-embedded case study of Gazaland, Siyaso and the Complex home industries in Harare, Zimbabwe, was used to prototype a database of the informal sector. Primary data was gathered using a digital questionnaire and secondary data was gathered from accessible literature and statutory documents inclined to the area of study, using content analysis. This chapter proffers a functional, flexible and scalable solution to the current information asymmetry, while solving some of the major impending issues revolving around why such a database should be compiled, what to incorporate in the database and how to enable multiple stakeholder contribution without compromising on data security and integrity. Interestingly, the proposed data model has a significant inclination towards the five pillars of the New Urban Agenda.
Simbarashe Show Mazongonda, Isaac Chikutukutu, Innocent Chirisa
Urban Infrastructure in Zimbabwe
Innocent Chirisa
Abraham R. Matamanda
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