Harare seals €4,5m water deal

HARARE - Harare City Council (HCC) has clinched a €4,5m ($5,56m) water infrastructure development deal with a Netherlands State-owned water company, Rijkswaterstaat, aimed at improving the city’s creaky water supply network.

Acting town clerk, Hosiah Chisango, confirmed the deal yesterday saying it was part of Harare’s 10-year water development plan.

“We signed a water works operator partnership with Rijkswaterstaat which is the main water utility in the Netherlands. What we are trying to do is to work together with them and emulate how they manage their water industry. It is one country that we visited and we saw that there is no bottled water in their shops, which means they place emphasis in the quality if their tap water and its availability,” Chisango said.

“So what we are trying to do is take advantage of their experiences in those fields to work together as a team. So we signed an agreement of €4,5 million with them which is basically about exchanging technical assistance.

“This means experts will be coming using part of that money to look at the configuration of our water supply network in terms of putting in valves so that we can monitor our pressures and this would lead to a reduction of non-revenue water,” he said.

Chisango added that the money was coming in as a grant and would thus not be paid back.

“This is a grant facility and not a loan, so we are not paying back anything. It’s an assistance which we are getting from them. They are bringing in engineers and various other professionals in the water field. We have already developed our water strategy with them running up to 2030, which we are in the process of sharing with our stakeholders,” he said.

“Basically, what this water strategy is looking at is how we reduce our non-revenue water and broaden our coverage. It also goes beyond that to cover development of sources of water. This co-cooperation with them is for an initial four years and then depending on the results which we will get, the Netherlands government has assured us if we get good results, they would be putting in more of that funding after four years. This means we can sustain it for the next 10 years,” said Chisango.

Failure by the City to implement an effective water reticulation system is exposing its estimated three million residents to a potentially disastrous health situation, including the danger of deadly diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

The €4,5 million injection is, however, a drop compared to the city’s actual capital requirement for water infrastructure involvement.

For instance, a recent report said Harare needs at least $300 million to fully fix its water and sewer reticulation infrastructure to meet the ever increasing demands of its growing residential base over the next two to three years.

And for the long-term projects, the capital’s water infrastructure requires another $800 million.

Harare sits on ancient water infrastructure built in the 1950s for just over 300 000 people and it has never been upgraded despite the city’s population having ballooned to an estimated three million people.

The Netherlands, however, would be a good case study for water infrastructure management.

Water supply and sanitation in the Netherlands is provided in good quality and at a reasonable price to the entire population.

Comments (1)


g40 - 17 April 2018

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