Zinwa penalises illegal water dealers

HARARE - The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has penalised 10 companies and one individual bulk water supplier for drawing water from unauthorised sources.

According to Zinwa's corporate communications manager Marjorie Munyonga, one of the companies that was penalised would appear in court for contravening statutory instrument 90 of 2013.

The companies were nabbed in a joint operation that was run by Zinwa and the police between November 2 and 11, which aimed at stopping all illegal trade in bulk water in Harare.

Bulk water suppliers, including water bottling companies, are prohibited from fetching water from boreholes or wells in urban residential areas unless approved by Zinwa.

"The offenses by the bulk water dealers ranged from pumping water from a stream without a permit, selling water from an illegal borehole, transporting bulk water without a licence, pumping water from unauthorised sources and transporting bulk water using unregistered trucks.

"The joint operation between Zinwa and the police came up after the water regulatory authority received reports of illicit trade in bulk water in Harare. Apart from paying the penalties, the companies were also ordered to regularise their operations," she said.

Munyonga also called upon all registered bulk water dealers, who have not had their trucks endorsed by Zinwa, to comply or risk having their licences revoked.

She said it is a legal requirement to have their trucks endorsed as fit for the purpose of ferrying bulk water every three months.

"While Zinwa fully appreciates and understands the difficulties people are facing due to the non-availability of Harare municipal water in some suburbs, residents are encouraged to buy bulk water from legally registered dealers," Munyonga said.

The cash-strapped City of Harare is presently seeking to introduce new methods in the water purification process as a way of reducing costs.

Recently, council struck a deal with Allunite Water Innovative Solutions Australia as a new supplier of water treatment chemicals.

Awisa chief executive officer Ian Price confirmed the deal, saying "The product which Awisa is going to supply is called Alchlor Gold, and it will mean a considerable reduction of up to 70 percent in chemical usage and equally a reduction in costs."

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