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solution to water woes yet
Phillip Chidavaenzi, NewsDay
July 03, 2013
For the past
few years Lynette Maswera (38) has had to rely on her neighbours
- who have a borehole in their yard - for water.
She lives in
the plush, upmarket Harare suburb of Eastlea, one of the capital’s
neighbourhoods, which has not been spared the water crisis that
has become the bane of the city.
expect anything better,” she says. “This is the life
we now know and understand. The city council has been a big letdown.”
are shared by many of Harare’s residents who feel betrayed
by the city authorities in whom they have put their faith.
gives too many excuses,” says Maswera, who seems to have her
wits about her. “If you read in the papers you hear them giving
one excuse after another. No one talks about the solutions.”
Water is political,
she told NewsDay, and what this means is the authorities voted into
office at Town House have failed in their mandate and need to be
shown the door in the forthcoming elections.
representative body, the Harare
Residents Trust (HRT), argued council has its priorities mixed
up, creaming off the municipality while the city decayed under their
the trust’s director, said council officials need to roll
up their sleeves and get to work.
(city council) should stop the purchase of (luxury) vehicles for
senior management and concentrate on the provision of clean water,
improvement of their billing system, and develop a stakeholder plan
on the phased replacement of old underground distribution pipes,”
should stop the diversion of water revenue to cover salaries and
other administration cost. Harare’s water crisis needs to
be declared a national emergency because the council will not be
able to address it in the short to medium term.”
the town clerk, recently told a parliamentary committee on local
government their major cause for headaches has been the water infrastructure
which, apart from old age, has not been able to bear the burden
of an increased population in the city and its dormitory towns.
he added, had been exacerbated by an astronomical debt.
doesn’t have enough water because it has been expanding and
we have not been able to increase the infrastructure,” he
told the lawmakers. “Most of the people we’ve been supplying
with water, including our sister local authorities and our own government
owe us significant amounts of money.”
secretary Killian Mupingo said the city has secured $2,312 million
grant from ZimFund, through the African Development Bank (ADB),
which will be pumped into Morton Jaffray waterworks, which has outlived
its lifespan, for the installation and commissioning of six pumps
and replacement of the problematic pipe at Morton Jaffray.
the city’s water infrastructure has suffered extensive wear
and tear which has seen increased leakages of clean water.
losing more than 60% of treated water and this is not acceptable.
If we harness that, we will serve 80% of Harare with water,”
they have secured $9, 5 million grant from the ADB which will be
used for, among other things, replacement of some pipes at Morton
Jaffray and Prince Edward Waterworks as well as the purchase of
replacement equipment in China.
will go to sewerage treatment works. We want to reduce our chemical
consumption,” he said. “The loan will further enhance
water availability by a comprehensive rehabilitation of the City’s
water treatment works, thereby addressing water supply to areas
currently not receiving adequate (water) supply.”
All these, however,
are piecemeal solutions, and this reality is not lost on the city
the committee a lasting solution to the water crisis in Harare would
only be found once the Kunzvi and Musami dam projects were finalised.
and Musami dam projects are on the table, but these are long term.
There is something happening at the moment because these are part
of the total solution,” Mahachi said.
the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (ZimStat), the results
for the August 2012 population census revealed that Harare accounts
for 16% of the country’s total population, which translates
to 2 098 199 people in the city.
the commissioning of Morton Jaffray Waterworks in 1953, the plant
has not been expanded to correspond with the increasing population.
The colonial government used to service water infrastructure every
five years, but since independence there has not been any upgrade.
Prince Edward has not been upgraded since 1973 and that is why there
is a shortfall,” Harare mayor Muchadei Masunda said.
forward is to bring Kunzwi Dam on stream because right now the installed
capacity of Morton Jaffray Waterworks that draws water from Lake
Chivero and Manyame River - which serves Greater Harare, Norton,
Ruwa, Epworth and Chitungwiza - is 604 megalitres per day for a
hub of four million people.”
For the likes
of Maswera, however, the wish is for the highbrow talk to end and
action to begin, so they can have access to adequate, potable water.
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