Harare braces for more water cuts

HARARE - Harare residents must brace for more water cuts, as council moves to repair countless burst pipes across the city.

This comes as water supplies are expected to resume, after most suburbs went for days without the precious commodity following the shutdown of Warren Control Pump Station last weekend.

Suburbs affected include the Avenues, Msasa, Hatfield, Greendale, Workington, Graniteside, Mabvuku and Tafara.

In an interview with the Daily News, Harare City Council (HCC) spokesperson Michael Chideme said there are many burst water pipes, which needed urgent attention.

“Over the past month, we have received numerous reports of burst pipes. However, we have not been attending to them because it would translate into dry days for the city. But recently, we noticed that if we continue ignoring the matter, more water would be lost, which is why the control station had to be shut down to make way for repairs,” he said.

He added that the burst pipes around the city were mainly caused by water pressure, although there has been concern that the infrastructure is antiquated.

The continued water cuts come as refurbishment of Morton Jaffray (MJ) Waterworks has been postponed to December.

HCC director of water Hosea Chisango said the city had anticipated completion by March, but there were some delays in the disbursement of funds.

The water treatment works is undergoing refurbishment after the China Exim Bank extended a $144 million loan to the local authority.

Once completed, it is set to increase supply coverage to 72 000 households, reduce non-revenue water by 25 percent and increase revenue by about $21,6 million annually.

“Though the work left is small, we have given the contractor until December this year to complete the whole refurbishment. What we want is for MJ to be completed then we can look at other treatment works such as Warren Control,” Chisango said.

“The delays were because there was a time when the contractor stopped working due to disbursement delays. The money has not yet been released but we are going ahead with work.

“We, however, expect output to be completed by August or September and those works that were done manually should be automated by then also,” he said.

Currently, HCC can only provide 450 mega-litres of water per day, against a daily demand of 900 mega-litres.

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