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Power cuts worsen Harare water woes at treatment works stall

by Staff reporter
06 Dec 2022 at 05:14hrs | Views
The current power outages being experienced in the country have worsened Harare's perennial water supply woes amid reports the crippling energy crisis has affected water treatment works at the iconic Morton Jaffrey water treatment plant.

Power cuts that have intensified in the past month with consumers going for at least 18 hours a day without electricity.

Recurrent breakdowns at the Hwange Thermal Power Station have been cited as some of the major reasons for the crippling blackout.

The situation is set to get worse in the next coming days as the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) ordered the Zimbabwe Power Company to stop generating electricity at Kariba Dam due to low water levels.

In a post on its official social media handle on Monday, the Harare City Council said power cuts have affected the authority's water rationing processes.

"The City of Harare wishes to advise all the residents and other stakeholders that the incessant power cuts have affected the scheduled water rationing scheme. Some parts of the city which receive water through a series of pumping will be greatly affected. Any inconveniences caused are sincerely regretted," said the council.

A source at Town House said the situation is dire as operations at the iconic Morton Jaffrey treatment plant have virtually stalled.

"There is no water at Morton Jaffrey because there is no electricity," said the source.

Harare Residents Trust Director Precious Shumba said water shortages have persisted because the local authority has not prioritised the provision of water to residents.

"Electricity challenges have worsened the situation but the root cause of inadequate water supplies is the aged underground water infrastructure, poor prioritisation of water provision and shortage of water treatment chemicals due to unavailability of foreign currency.

"Most suburbs have been experiencing water shortages for several months now, even before the electricity supplies worsened," he said.

Shumba said in the absence of running water, residents continued depending on community boreholes and shallow wells to survive.

"The situation is desperate. Residents are depending on community and private boreholes and shallow wells.

"Without tap water, residents are drinking potentially contaminated water due to mixing of sewer and water underground. Residents have been battling these challenges and have learnt to live with flowing sewer on their streets," he said.

Of late, city council clinics have been overwhelmed with residents presenting with diarrhoea following an outbreak that has seen more than 1,100 cases being recorded between October 24 and November this year.

Source - ZimLive