Dry weekend for Hararians
HARARE City Council (HCC) yesterday announced the temporary shutdown of the Morton Jaffray water treatment Plant after running out of key chemicals — leaving hundreds of thousands of the capital city’s residents facing a dry weekend, the Daily News reports.
The closure of the plant comes as the city is owed nearly $1 billion dollars by the government, companies and
ordinary residents in unpaid rates.
The HCC said it had been forced to make the difficult decision of shutting down the plant, which previously went
through extensive refurbishments that chewed millions of United States dollars.
“Please be advised that we have no choice but to shut down Morton Jaffray at about 1800 hours today (yesterday) due to stockout of aluminium sulphate, the major water treatment chemical.
“Zimphos, the supplier of the said chemical raised the red flag on Monday … indicating that they had run out of bauxite, the primary raw material used to manufacture aluminium sulphate and thus needed assistance with $2 583 000 required for VAT payment purposes to import 1 000 tonnes of the commodity.
“As of Wednesday … Zimphos indicated that the required amount had been paid to suppliers. However, positive proof of payment into their bank account was required before the goods could be dispatched.
“They confirmed … that logistics are now in motion to get the bauxite at their Msasa factory … and commence
production of alum immediately,” the council said yesterday.
It also said that the first load of alum to Morton Jaffray was expected early this morning.
“A further four hours will be required before we start pumping treated water out of treatment works. “Thus, there will be reduced production during the day up to 6pm, and total loss of production for a projected 16 hours commencing 1800 hours today (yesterday),” the HCC advised further.
The council has previously said it needs at least US$2,3 billion to address perennial acute water shortages in the city through the construction of new dams, water treatment plants and refurbishing the existing infrastructure — including its water distribution network.
The city’s residents have spent the greater part of the past 20 years without adequate water supplies due to antiquated equipment and infrastructure.
Harare has a water pipe network of 5 500km, which is linked to 15 booster pump stations, 28 reservoir sites and
200 000 customer connection points.