Kunzvi, Musami dams to ease water woes

HARARE - Government should give Harare City Council (HCC) permission to source funders who can construct Kunzvi and Musami dams in order to ease the city’s water problems.

Harare mayor Herbert Gomba told the Daily News that the city’s water supply was being outstretched because it provided the liquid to many towns that surrounds it.

Gomba’s sentiments come as Harare is battling a cholera outbreak which was declared a state of emergency last Monday after 20 people had died from the water-borne disease.

The death toll has since risen to about 28.

“The construction of these dams has taken too long to get off the ground.

“Every year there are promises but nothing happens.

“At present we are providing Goromonzi, Norton, Ruwa and Chitungwiza with water.

“The 800 megalitres that are required daily are sufficient for Harare alone and with these other centres we then have to start rationing our residents so that everyone gets water,” Gomba said.

The mayor said if council could get reputable contractors to work on that project some of the problems such as water shortages and diseases would not be experienced in Harare.

“Council is currently fixing Morton Jaffray but that is just a short-term measure to our water problems.

“We have an ever-growing population which requires water daily and Lake Chivero has become too small,” he said.

Town planning expert Percy Toriro is on record saying the construction of Kunzvi Dam was the solution for Harare’s perennial water shortages.

“Although the current Morton Jaffray upgrades will bring relief, they will not sustainably solve Harare’s water problems,” he said.

“The problems should be understood in two contexts, firstly the breakdown of the water infrastructure due to normal ageing and wear and tear; and secondly from the
growth of the city population for which no provision has been made over the years.

“While everyone else is concerned about the water shortages, for me as an urban planner, I am surprised that we have managed to reach this far.

“Our projections were that Harare would suffer serious water shortages from the year 2000, hence the plan was to start building Kunzvi Dam in 1996,” Toriro said.

Last year, government claimed to have been finalising their deal with Sino-Hydro for the construction of Kunzvi Dam as part of the China-Africa facility at an estimated cost of $600 million.

HCC has also laid claim to be in talks with Singapore firm Neoparagon for the construction of Kunzvi, Muda and Musami dams at a cost of $2,9 billion.

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