Water is the new gold in Harare

Zimbabwe

*City pumping just enough for 52% of residents 

Dean Dhumbura

THE Harare City Council is treating and pumping water that is only able to cover the needs of just over half of the city’s estimated 1, 5, million residents.

A report on by the Harare town clerk, tabled at a full council meeting on Tuesday, reveals that the city continues to lose treated water to leakages caused by dilapidated pipes.

“The average water coverage is at 52% of the population,” reads part of the report.

“Water bursts backlog increased in the central business district where water has been available. In other areas bursts decreased as there was virtually no water supply.”

Faced with persistent water challenges some desperate residents are now resorting to drinking from shallow and unprotected wells, running the risk of contracting water borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

Town Clerk, Hosiah Chisango, disclosed that the city intends to implement a cocktail of measures, such as repairing of “filter number 59” and increasing the amount of water treatment chemicals it purchases.

 “The sooner this is achieved the earlier will be able to implement the suggested and already published water demand management program to ensure equitable distribution of the scarce but precious resource,” he said.

Commenting on the report Councilor Tendai Matafi of Ward 29 accused council workers of not responding quickly to reports of water leakages.

“To my surprise some workers, will be aware of the situation (water leakages) but they do not do their job,” he said.

 Councilor Jason Zivai Kautsa of Kuwadzana reiterated the need for council workers to react quickly whenever residents make reports.

“We have to put effective measures to take quick action aggressively when residents report,” Councilor Kautsa said.