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Local government media tracker
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
May 27, 2013

Harare City Council needs $2.5 billion to address city’s water woes
All Africa

Harare City Council on Thursday revealed that it requires a staggering $2.5 billion to roll out a program to address the city's water problems. Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda said the program would ensure that residents have uninterrupted supplies, during a week when most residents had no water. The dormitory town of Chitungwiza, which gets its water from Harare, has been without supplies for two weeks, while suburbs like Tafara and Mabvuku last, had running water seven years ago. Current water supply is estimated at 600 mega litres of water per day against a daily demand of 1,400 mega litres. The authority would like to construct three additional water works to produce at least 1,920 mega litres. Harare City Council need to construct water works at Kunzvi Dam, as has been proposed 30 years ago, and this will cost $539 million. A frustrated Tynwald resident, who has been buying her water for $60 per tank for the past two years, dismissed the mayor's long-term plans as 'pie-in-the-sky'. She said what residents wanted was an immediate, achievable solution and not proposals based on unavailable funds. "Where is that money going to come from? Before the city fathers discuss projects to increase water output, they should first restore supplies to all suburbs," said the resident.

Motoring public blasts City of Harare

The motoring public in Harare has slammed the City of Harare for conducting road works during the peak hours as this causes unnecessary congestion in the city. While appreciating the work being done by the city in putting up road signs, the motoring public has questioned the timing of the whole program which they say clearly demonstrates lack of strategic planning. “While we want to have proper road signs, the timing is very wrong because they choose to do it during the day. It causes delays and it is so frustrating and the city’s engineering department should emulate the strategies employed by other modern cities which carry our road maintenance works and putting signage during the night. The Combined Harare Residents Association director Mfundo Mlilo said the city fathers have remained rigid in their activities instead of coming up with more innovations to improve service delivery. We are worried by the lack of appreciation by the City of Harare. It has failed to be innovative. What stops them from carrying out these road works during the evening? It means we have the wrong people in the wrong positions.

Water vendors refusing to be regulated
The Herald

Water vendors who have been supplying bulk water to residents owning large tanks in parts of Harare that have gone for months without supplies from the city will now have their water tested before it is sold. Harare Water acting director Eng Simon Muserere said on Friday that the city was considering the measure after realizing that water vendors were becoming hostile to having their work regulated. Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo also called upon the city to be strict with the water vendors. Allegations are that some of the vendors draw the water from unprotected sources like rivers and shallow wells, while others do not clean their tankers after delivering water for construction purposes. The vendors are predominantly visible in the low density suburbs that are not supplied with municipal water. He said the city would soon mount a campaign to educate residents to report the leaks that occur within the built up area. Complaints were that the city was not providing water and questioned why it should be interested in auditing their water meters. Water shortages in Harare have been attributed to old plant and equipment at Morton Jaffrey Water treatment Plant, theft of water revenue by city officials and water leaks. A study by eThekwini Municipality of South Africa on Harare suggested that the city could be producing enough water for reticulated households but could be losing it to thefts and leaks. The city has not been able to establish the correct water demand. The figure of 1 400 million litres a day is an estimation based on the projected growth of the city. The survey by Harare Water is also meant to establish the correct water demand to allow for effective planning.

Water woes persist as City fathers deny neglecting boreholes
The Herald

Harare City has denied neglecting boreholes within the city saying it is in the process of fixing those which have broken down. Council Spokesperson Leslie Gwindi said, “The reasons why some boreholes are not working vary from breakdowns to vandalisms but we are doing our best," A survey by The Herald in Glen View, Budiriro, High-fields, Glen Norah, Kuwadzana and Warren Park revealed that a significant number of boreholes were dysfunctional. Private companies drilled close to 235 boreholes over the past few years which were handed to the city for management. The water woes affecting Harare's western suburbs have forced Mbare residents in Magaba to resort to fetching water for drinking and laundry from Mukuvisi River. When The Herald team visited the place residents were busy fetching water from the contaminated river. One of the residents identified as Amai Fanuel said they had no option in the face of the severe water shortage, the Council had left us for dead because this water we are drinking is very dirty and exposes us to water borne diseases." She said residents were living in fear that cholera or typhoid might break out.

Local authorities to take over projects
The Herald

Government has resolved to hand over Garikayi/Hlalani Kuhle projects to local authorities after it emerged that central government had no resources to continue funding the projects, a Cabinet Minister has said. National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Giles Mutsekwa said two projects in Murehwa and Bulawayo had since been officially handed over to the respective local authorities. The Government had run out of money and the projects were left like that. We agreed with the Minister of Local Government hand over the projects in their status to the local authorities. There were some problems with some local authorities accepting while others said Government was handing over a problem to them. Mr. Mutsekwa said one of the challenges raised by some local authorities was the costs related to water reticulation, servicing of the stands among others. The majority of local authorities accepted to take the projects.

Water situation in city improves

The Herald

The water situation in some parts of Harare's western suburbs improved after council repaired one of the pumps at Morton Jaffrey Water Works. Acting director for Harare Water, Engineer Simon Muserere said the pump had been repaired though final touches were under way to restore supply to other areas. The pump is now functioning and the entire western suburbs will be receiving normal water supply. He said they were doubling their efforts to ensure that water supplies in Greystone Park and Hatcliffe were restored. The continuous water challenges, Eng Muserere said, were as a result of ageing pumps at the water treatment plant. The economic lifespan of water pump is 20 years and those at Morton Jaffray are about 50 years old and that is the reason for the continued water bursts. When The Herald visited parts of the western suburbs it was all smiles from the residents who were accessing water from their taps.

Water crisis blamed on pump breakdown
The NewsDay

Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda has blamed the current water shortages which have seen most suburbs going without the precious liquid for weeks on end to a major breakdown at the main treatment plant, Morton Jaffrey Waterworks. Addressing journalists at Quill Club in Harare, Masunda said eight of the 14 pumps at the plant had broken down. “We don’t expect to get any funds from government because there is no money, but we can use the resources that we have. Water demand in Harare alone is currently at 1 200 mega-litres a day yet the municipality is currently producing 620 mega-litres for Harare, Chitungwiza and Norton. The city’s water crisis has also been blamed on shortage of treatment chemicals amid reports that water consumed in the capital contains 50% human waste.

Government to increase power generation reduces load-shedding
The Sunday Mail

Government is committed to a reduction in load-shedding and is exploring ways to increase the country’s power output, the Minister of Energy and Power Development has said. In an interview on the sidelines of the commissioning of a biogas digester at Harare Hospital last week, Minister Elton Mangoma reiterated that Government is committed to reducing load-shedding and was exploring ways of increasing the country’s power output. Minister Mangoma added that the US$1 million Government-funded biogas digesters’ project is one of the measures being put in place to address the power supply challenges facing the country. Meanwhile, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) alleges that the recently gazetted rules and regulations governing the installation of pre-paid meters are “abrasively against the interest of consumers.” Through Statutory Instrument (SI) 44 A of 2013, Government recently laid down procedures that Zesa will follow to recover debts from consumers with outstanding bills. According to the Statutory Instrument (SI), any electricity charges outstanding on the date on which a pre-paid meter is installed shall become debts of the property. The new regulations also empower consumers to buy and install the pre-paid meters. It is therefore grossly unfair for Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) to conveniently dump the efficacy of funding this exercise on already burdened consumers, many of whom are struggling to pay mounting electricity bills. “It also appears that from the SI that smart metering is for select consumers (ref SI 4, Section 3). How and why this was determined or arrived at beats the consumer and takes away the consumer’s right to choose whether or not they want a pre-paid or smart meter at their property.”

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