HARARE – Partial refurbishment of Morton Jaffray (MJ) water works is set to be completed in March or April next year.
Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni last week said it was council’s duty to work together to ensure that the treatment plant was fully furnished according to plan.
“As councillors, it is our duty to monitor the progress and continuity of this project. We can only start smiling once the project starts to bear fruit. Without constant monitoring, this project could go off the rails,” Manyenyeni said while touring the plant which is being refurbished under a $144 million China Exim Bank loan facility.
He said the current council might alleviate all the problems facing Harare as it takes at least three or four terms for things to start taking shape.
“Council is looking for more long term projects to adopt and improve the livelihoods of the people of Harare,” the mayor said.
Manyenyeni said his council is happy to be executing one set of projects with the next councils taking on the remainder.
“All the projects that we intend on starting will not be completed by us. We should also consider that the development of these ventures is subject to funding as well,” he said.
Harare City engineer, Vumisani Sithole told tour delegates that currently Prince Edward (PE) water works was pumping 60 megalitres of water per day from the expected 90 megalitres.
Sithole highlighted that this was due to the nature of the catchment area that is best suited to provide water for four months of the year.
“PE was designed to cater for peak demand and cannot provide water for the whole year.
“If that happens, then the small catchment which comprises of Harava and Seke dams will run dry,” he said.
Sithole indicated that currently MJ was pumping out 400 megalitres against a maximum capacity output of 614 megalitres.
The city council has warned that because of the 14 old pumps whose decommissioning started in May, Harare would be experiencing water disruptions until the refurbishment is completed in the next three years.
Harare has been dogged by perennial water shortages with parts of Mabvuku, Glen Norah, Glen View, Budiriro, Highfield and Kuwadzana being the most affected.
Other affected areas include northern suburbs such as Greendale, Mandara and Glen Lorne where residents have resorted to drilling boreholes.
In 2008, 98 585 cases of cholera were reported with 4 287 deaths after Zimbabwe succumbed to a cholera outbreak that was exacerbated by water shortages around the country after residents resorted to drinking contaminated water as taps had run dry with water outages of up to four days a week.