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Harare rations water

by Staff reporter
07 Jan 2019 at 20:09hrs | Views
Residents of the Zimbabwean capital Harare have begun to experience water rationing as part of a local government preservation measure during a drought.

The rolling cuts to water service will affect the capital of Harare and some nearby areas for periods of up to 48 hours, the Harare City Council (HCC) announced. The rationing will continue through the first quarter of 2019, the HCC said.

The mayor Herbert Gomba has urged citizens to take extra steps to reduce water use.

The government says that El Nino weather phenomena is behind the drought, while critics say that years of lack of infrastructure investment and planning left the country flat-footed when it came to offsetting the drought.

Drought conditions have reduced reservoir volume to critical levels, officials say. The level of Lake Chivero, which supplies Harare with most of its water, has been on a downward trend, city town clerk Hosea Chisango said.

"This year there are predictions of low rainfall. This has compelled the city council to introduce water rationing system early to ensure residents get water throughout the season," Chisango told the Daily News.

"This weekend we are going to have a cleaning of the water treatment plant to remove the algae which is in the plant so that residents will get clean water. This will cause a water supply cut the whole weekend. Rationing will continue until the water level rises as the rainy season progresses."

He emphasised that the full water rationing schedule would be released next week once the cleaning at Morton Jaffray is completed.

Community Water Alliance programmes manager Hardlife Mudzingwa said while the city is experiencing water problems, they have various regimes that must be instituted to cushion residents.

He said in previous years, Darwendale Dam was opened to ensure that raw water from Lake Chivero is mixed with raw water from Darwindale Dam before the purification process starts.

"This is a plan that council puts in place towards year-end especially if the much-awaited rains delay. We understand that the lift used by engineers who repair and operate the pumps giving leeway for water from Darwendale Dam, is not functioning. There is a company that was paid to do the work when Josephine Ncube was acting town clerk. Why is there no urgency in repairing this lift?" Mudzingwa asked.

Harare's northern suburbs of Borrowdale, The Grange, Glen Lorne and Umwinsdale have had no municipal water for the past 10 years, prompting most property owners to drill private boreholes at the homes.

Finance and development committee chairperson Ian Makone said to alleviate the water problems, council had set aside $4 million for the Gletwyn Dam project.

"The mayor has insisted that we should make a budgetary provision in 2019 council budget for water connection with Gletwyn Dam. We have our own land there and yes there may be private investors who can carry out the project but if we can do it ourselves we would rather do that though there are cost worries.

"We want to ease the pressures that residents in some of the northern suburbs of Grange, Umwinsdale and Glen Lorne have been experiencing in terms of water provision," Makone said.

Source - dailynews