Council disconnects Kebab Centre water supplies

HARARE - Harare City Council (HCC) on Wednesday disconnected water supplies for Caps Holdings and Kebab Centre over a $500 000 debt.

HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme said Caps Holdings owed council $428 000 in unpaid water bills while Kebab Centre owed HCC $94 000.

He said the two companies had bypassed the metering system and were using water freely.

“In 2010, we closed water supplies to Caps because of a debt, however, they illegally reconnected their supplies. Workers at the company tipped us off and on Wednesday we removed meters from the premises,” Chideme said.

Chideme said they have since engaged management at the two companies to try and work out a payment plan for reconnection.

According to the 2015 Auditor General’s report on local authorities, 56 percent of Harare’s water is non-revenue and lost through leakages and illegal connections.

As such, Harare requires $178 million to fund its water pipe replacement and network rehabilitation exercise to avoid loss of water due to burst pipes and illegal connections.

Once completed the replacement would reduce physical water losses by 72 million litres per day, increase supply coverage to 72 000 households, reduce non-revenue water by 25 percent and increase revenue by about $21,6 million per year.

To avert loss of revenue from water losses, council has now embarked on installation of prepaid water meters on a pilot scheme.

A targeted 3 000 meters will be installed in Bluffhill, the Avenues, Sunningdale, Kambuzuma, Greendale and Avondale.

A presentation by council engineer Hosea Chisango showed that the smart meter project would cost $112 million in capital costs and $1 million for operations.

Chisango’s presentation also shows that smart meters will reduce non-revenue water by 20 percent.

“$99,8 million is lost per year with physical losses costing council $56 million annually while commercial losses are estimated at $43,8 million per year,” Chisango said.

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