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Harare city centre, suburbs run dry

by Staff reporter
02 Mar 2017 at 05:46hrs | Views

Several suburbs in Harare, including the city centre have been without water for the past three days, forcing residents to depend on shallow wells and other unprotected sources, risking the outbreak of diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

Some company officials with offices in the city centre yesterday said they were contemplating closing business as the situation had become unbearable.

The city's acting spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme said the water cut off was caused by a power failure at Warren Control Pump Station.

This affected supplies to the city centre, northern suburbs, some eastern suburbs and the heavy industrial area.

"Warren Control had a power failure and this affected our delivery lines into the city," said Mr Chideme.

He said the council was working on the technical faults and expected water supplies to be restored yesterday, but the situation was still grave by late last night.

Although Mr Chideme said western and southern suburbs were not affected since they get their water directly from Prince Edward and Morton Jaffray water treatment plants, there was no water in places like Kuwadzana Extension, to the west of the city since Monday.

There was also no water in Queensdale, Braeside, as well as some parts of Mbare in the south of the city.

Residents in Kuwadzana Extension have been relying on a borehole in the suburb, unprotected wells and a nearby stream for their water since Monday.

"This is very unfair on us," said Mrs Moleen Nyevera of Kuwadzana Extension.

"The city is putting our lives and those of our children at risk by failing to provide water.

"How can work on a fault go on for three days without a remedy? We are being compromised by the city and this is being heartless on the part of those who manage its affairs."

On the affected western and southern suburbs, Mr Chideme said the problem was not emanating from Warren Control, but the city workers were attending to the situation.

Morton Jaffray Water Plant supplies and delivers water to the greater part of Harare, whilst other parts of the city rely on Prince Edward Water Treatment Plant, which in turn feeds the smaller pump stations.

The city council secured a $144 million loan from the Chinese Export and Import Bank in 2013 and has used part of the money to acquire equipment for the refurbishment of the 60-year-old Morton Jaffray plant.

Work on the project began in April 2013 and the contractor, China Machinery and Engineering Corporation (CMEC), has completed various works.

Upon completion of the project, water supply is expected to rise to 670 mega-litres from 400 mega-litres a day.

Harare needs at least 1 200 mega-litres to enable every household to have water everyday.

The city's water department has been failing to cope with water demand over the years, mainly because the original infrastructure was designed to serve a population of only 300 000.

The city's population has since increased to almost 2,5 million without a corresponding expansion of water infrastructure.

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Source - the herald
More on: #Harare, #Taps, #Water