September 19, 2019

Harare sends water SOS

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… as residents in Zimbabwe’s capital turn desperate

Leroy Dzenga

Harare’s water situation is dire, taps have run dry and residents in Zimbabwe’s capital are desperate. The city is facing one of the worst water crisis in years.

The water woes are due to a drought plaguing the southern African country and the city’s outdated water infrastructure which is failing to keep up with the burgeoning population caused by rural to urban migration.

In the face of the worsening crisis, Harare City Council has invited experts to help with solutions.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, Environmental Management Committer Chairperson Kudzai Kadzombe said the situation is desperate and requires practical solutions.

“We have decided to come out of the closet and say issues as they are on the ground. Our water demand stands at nearly 1200 million litres a day against a combined design capacity of not more than 710 million litres a day.

We are however not able to produce water equivalent to our design capacity. We are managing on average, 300 million litres a day hardly enough to satisfy growing demands,” said Kadzombe.

He appealed to experts to lend their skills to the local authority as it struggles to tackle the water crisis.

“We call for independent engineers to come and assist the city to come up with solutions, innovations, technologies, strategies to ensure residents get water and address the challenges mentioned,” Kadzombe said.

Harare has been grappling with water problems with some of its suburbs going for years without running water. This is forcing residents to fetch drinking water from the contaminated Mukuvisi river exposingthemselves to water borne diseases.

Amid the chronic water shortages some people have turned the crisis into a business opportunity. Residents in Glen Norah a poor suburb 16 kilometres south of Harare are parting with RTGS$3.00 to buy a twenty litre bucket of water from those who have boreholes.

Council is hoping the private sector will heed the call and bring fresh ideas to the table which will bail the city out of the current crisis.

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