Harare has only one water pump working

Top Stories Zimbabwe

Andrew Moyo

Just one of the 14 pumps at Harare’s Warren Hills water station is functional, the capital’s mayor Jacob Mafume has announced.

While addressing Rotarians yesterday Mafume highlighted that several factors have led to the current water woes Harare is experiencing.

These range from the unavailability of chemicals to the deteriorating distribution infrastructure.

“We have 14 pumps at Warren Hills and last week only one was functioning. They interchange. Sometimes two or three are functioning but they take turns to malfunction,” said Mafume.

While Morton Jeffery Water Works has an installed capacity of processing 640 mega litres per day, council has not been able to supply the city with water despite the fact the Harare only needs about 400 mega litres per day.

“We need to work on our pumping capacity and we have imported pumps using a Government grant worth about US$7 million that are being installed at Warren Park.

“The critical thing is the Warren Hills pumps and once we have those functioning, we should be able to water the city.

“We should also work on the reticulation system so that once we get that water, we are able to put in reservoirs to cover the whole city. Once we get water in those reservoirs, we should be able to get water to almost all parts of Harare at least three to four days a week.”

The issue of billing has been a topic of discussion for a while with some calling for the introduction of prepaid meters while others are against it.

However, Mafume notes that while smart meters are ideal the supply side needs to be sorted.

“We need to get smart meters, but it’s a chicken and egg situation. You can’t smart meter what you can’t deliver. There is no point in giving you a smart meter when I am telling you I haven’t had water for four years.

“We first have to suffer the loss of delivering the water and then do the smart meters. I am saying let’s clean our water, lets pump it, let’s get it to where it’s supposed to go,” he said.