Harare mulls introducing water limiters

HARARE - The Harare City Council (HCC) is mulling a full-scale roll-out of water inflow limiters by March 2017, as a desperate measure to compel residents to conserve the scarce resource — and as the capital city grapples with one of its worst water crises in living memory.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News, HCC’s acting director of water, Hosea Chisango, said the city’s residents were using water wastefully and the new plan, if it succeeded, would drastically cut consumption.

“We took notes from Ethekwini (South Africa’s Durban city), which installed the limiters. The idea is that once residents’ daily consumption is used up, they stop receiving water for the day and will only start getting it the FROM P1
following morning,” he said.

Rather controversially, Chisango said the pilot project would start in the high density suburbs of Mbare and Sunningdale.

This comes as water levels in the country’s major dams have receded to precarious levels across Zimbabwe, with the country’s largest dam, Kariba, said to be at a catastrophic nine percent of its capacity.

Chisango said that the inflow limiters were much cheaper than pre-paid meters, although the latter were more beneficial to council as people paid for their water upfront.

He added that through the installation of the flow limiters, the city was also simultaneously looking into residents’ ability to pay for water.

“The water being rationed will not be uniform. Even when we do designs, high density areas always receive less than low-density suburbs. However, the price of water in high density areas will be subsidised by those in low density areas,” he said.

Chisango said since the inflow limiters would be installed on conventional meters, those with malfunctioning meters should have them replaced or fixed as soon as possible.

The water situation in Harare is so dire that the city has since introduced water rationing, amid revelations that it is left with only four months’ supply of the precious liquid.

The water rationing measures come as the city is owed $513 million in unpaid rates and water bills by cash-strapped consumers, including businesses.

The dire water crisis has led to the emergence of unscrupulous merchants who are making a killing out of selling the precious liquid to desperate residents in the capital’s poor townships.

Residents of Mabvuku and Tafara townships, who spent almost a decade without receiving water, are being bled by the water merchants who control boreholes and charge $1 per bucket of water.

Comments (2)

Lack of water in ANY suburb or city or town is a very clear case of mismanagement by the local authorities. It means that they are more interested in development without even giving any thought to the fact that the infrastructure should come first. The local councilors do not make as much corrupt money on infrastructural goods as they do on selling stands. Steal, steal and steal some more. That's what Zimbabwe and all the local authorities is all about.

Homo Erectus - 7 November 2016

The City of Harare is trampling on the Residents' basic human right to access clean water. How does any body in his right mind justify the absence water supply to some residential areas for a period of more than ten years? Clearly the responsible authority does not care a damn.

common sense - 7 November 2016

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