HARARE-In a repeat of the controversial 2007 directive the Government has with immediate effect reappointed the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) the Water Engineer in Chief to provide portable water in all local authorities.
The announcement was made by Lands, Agriculture, Water and Fisheries Minister, Anxious Masuku in Harare today.
Masuka is also the National Action Committee on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Chairperson that comprises the health and local government ministries.
In 2007 the Government of Robert Mugabe directed all local authorities to surrender management of portable water to ZINWA, but the results were not pleasing as the move is blamed for the outbreak of cholera that killed nearly 1000 people in the country.
Masuka said a Statutory Instrument to legalise the directive will be gazetted immediately, adding that a month supply of water treatment chemicals has been availed to achieve more than 50% water supply for Harare.
“As government reviews legislation regarding water use ( Water Act and ZINWA Act). It is expected that ZINWA will become the government water engineer with capacity to provide technical assistance to all local authorities in water management.
“Government with immediate effect has established a technical committee to assist the City of Harare in planning and managing water and to provide long-term solutions to Harare perennial water problems, and has resolved to purchase one month supply of chemicals for the immediate relief of residents in order to increase treated water production capacity to 520 Megalitres per day,” said Minister Masuka.
He said the government remains committed to supply citizens with safe and portable clean water.
The Minister added that the new measures needed to be “complimented by planning and investments in argumentation of treatment and convergence systems and revamping of waste water systems”.
He urged urban local authorities, all in opposition hands to ring fence water accounts to ensure adequate water supply to residents.
In light of Harare perennial water problems, Masuka said the crisis is a result of inadequate resources to purchase chemicals as the suppliers are unwilling to provide the city chemicals on credit.
Currently, the City of Harare major water works supply Morton Jaffray and Prince Edward are delivering 302.96 Megalitres per day against the potential of 704 ML/ day as per the design capacity.
Whereas the water demand for Greater Harare area is estimated at 1200 ml/day, with the treatment plant deficit at 496 ml/ day.
The constrained production has limited the water supply mainly to Chitungwiza, the Central Business District and the western suburbs, whilst the taps in the Northern and Eastern suburbs such as Mabvuku, Tafara as well as Hatcliff remains dry.
The city gets it’s raw water from Seke and Harava system which feeds into Prince Edward water works, while Lake Chivero system feeds into Morton Jaffrey works.
However, the intake works at Lake Manyame are currently down, hence no water is extracted from the source.
As at 22 September,2023, average dam levels are at 84.6% which can last for 26 months.