HARARE – Water supplies to over three million residents of the capital city will be cut off this weekend to enable maintenance work to be carried out at Morton Jaffray (MJ) Water Treatment Works, the Daily News can report.
MJ is undergoing refurbishment after the city fathers secured a $144 million loan from the Export-Import Bank of China.
When completed, around December, MJ will increase supply coverage to 72 000 households, reduce water losses by 25 percent, and increase council revenue by about $21,6 million, annually.
Harare City Council (HCC) spokesperson Michael Chideme told the Daily News yesterday that there will be a complete shutdown of MJ from Friday to Sunday to allow for emergency maintenance work at Lake Chivero’s raw water intake station.
The shutdown will affect water supplies to the whole city,” Chideme said.
“The shutdown is to allow repair of raw water abstraction apparatuses. The adjustments will allow us to draw best quality raw water at any given time.”
While the city will be dry, there are some areas such as Mabvuku, Tafara, Glen Lorne, Highlands and Borrowdale that have not been receiving municipal water for more than five years.
The shutdown comes as various suburbs across the city have been without water as council has been repairing its old water distribution network.
HCC has been attending to burst pipes across the city.
Chideme said the continued water losses have been taxing to council.
“Over the past few months, we have had numerous reports of burst pipes, which we received. However, we have not been attending to them because it would translate into dry days for the city.
“But recently we noticed that if we continue ignoring the matter, more water would be lost, which is why the control station had to be shut down to make way for repairs,” Chideme said.
Water director Hosea Chisango said even if MJ is completed, the water rationing regime would continue until a complete overhaul of pipes and network distribution is done at a cost of about $178 million.
Currently, HCC is providing 520 mega litres of water per day against a daily demand of 800 mega litres following improvements at MJ.