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Precious Liquid: Zimbabwe Faces Another Year of Water Woes

Harare residents have to wait longer for consistent water supplies as rehabilitation of Morton Jaffray Water Works will only be completed i...

Harare residents have to wait longer for consistent water supplies as rehabilitation of Morton Jaffray Water Works will only be completed in December 2017. 

Prince Edward Water Treatment Works has also encountered problems, pumping water three hours a day on the back of its sources — Harava and Seke dams — running low, affecting many suburbs. 

Morton Jaffray, the capital city’s biggest water treatment plant, should have been upgraded to produce 600 mega-litres of water by July 2016.

However, authorities pushed back that deadline, saying sticking to it would have meant shutting down the entire plant for months.

Since the project began in 2013, Harare City Council has been cutting supplies to residents and businesses at weekends to enable installation of new equipment. 
Zimbabweans Must Brace for Another Dry Year 

The initiative was financed by China Export Import Bank to the tune of US$144 million. 

Harare Water distribution manager Engineer Hosiah Chisango told The Sunday Mail, “We will continue to have water cuts across the city because Morton Jaffray is now scheduled to be completed in December 2017 instead of July this year as initially stated.

“This will be the arrangement for now, with shut down schedules increasing during the rain season, particularly in January. Some of our supplies are fast dwindling; therefore, we have reduced the amount of water that is being pumped per day at some of our control stations.”

Eng Chisango said three of Morton Jaffray’s four major pumps would supply water to the Alex and Letombo reservoirs, with the fourth serving Prince Edward Water Treatment Works.

“We are now planning to start drawing water from Morton Jaffray, and this will not be enough to supply the entire city. This means some suburbs that were getting water from Prince Edward Water Treatment Works will get supplies at weekends only, and others during the week.”

Residents interviewed by The Sunday Mail were livid, labelling council disorganised and “not having the people at heart”.

Mrs Rosemary Dzawo of Highfield said, “These people are fussy when it comes to paying your water bills, but are rather lethargic when it comes to the interests of ratepayers. Yes, we know Morton Jaffray is being rehabilitated.

"But they should have, from the outset, told us that the July deadline was unrealistic rather than raising our hopes and then dashing them in this manner. Think of the risk of disease, and the nursing mother who has to wash nappies everyday.”

Mr Darlington Chisvo of Sunningdale who embraced prepaid water metering weeks ago said: “When the system was introduced, we thought it was going to be better as we would manage our water consumption.

‘‘However, it is actually worse because we do not have the water even after paying for it. And when water supplies resume, the meter registers a different reading, suggesting you will have consumed a certain amount of water when that is not the case.” - Sunday Mail 

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