More water woes for Harare residents

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HARARE City water department has warned residents to brace for worse water problems because the local authority continues to struggle to secure adequate treatment chemicals as it owes its suppliers a whopping US$74 million.
Speaking during a policy dialogue on water delivery in the capital, city water engineer Charles Chinyaya said the effects of climate change were among a host of challenges in water delivery, with dams running dry faster than normal, but the issue of water chemicals was critical.
He added that inadequate supplies of water treatment chemicals due to lack of funds was a major blow to the city’s water provision system, and if left unresolved, there would be a disaster in the near future.
“Our catchment is on our watershed, meaning water that is pumped back to the city from the dam has already flowed through the city and collected pollutants and silt along the way.
“This makes our chemical bill huge,” Chinyaya said.
“But then the production of water is just like business — one needs revenue to continue in business. What is happening right now is that the very few people who are getting water are not paying council and this results to us making losses and being unable to buy purifying chemicals.
“As it is, we owe suppliers US$74 million and this makes it difficult on their part to supply us with more chemicals before we clear the debt.”
Chinyaya added that due to lack of the purifying chemicals coupled with water shortages, council is able to produce 200 mega-litres per day against demand of 1 200 mega-litres.
The city is importing treatment chemicals at a cost of US$3 million every month while its water account is in huge deficit.

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