3 October 2012

Zimbabwe: Dry Taps for Harare Suburbs Till Weekend

Photo: http://www.irinnews.org
Urban Zimbabweans are struggling with water shortages.

HARARE'S western and parts of southern suburbs will have no water until weekend owing to a major pipe burst within the Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant.

Water shortages pose a great health risk high-density suburbs. Each time the suburbs run dry, residents resort to fetching water from unprotected sources. The unavailability of water means residents would not be able to use toilets while schools, clinics and shopping centres without borehole water might be forced to close. Harare water director Eng Christopher Zvobgo announced the water crisis yesterday.

"We suffered a major pipe burst on the water mains that feeds the western suburbs.

"The burst has caused the flooding of the pump house," he said.

City engineers spent the greater part of yesterday draining water from the pump house. The flooding damaged electrical pumps. He said the whole treatment plant temporarily lost power due to flooding.

"All the areas fed through Marimba and Lochinvar Reservoirs would be without water until the weekend," he said.

Eng Zvobgo said each time such a mishap happens, pumps are taken for repairs and drying. He said in the interim, the city would be using smaller pumps to supply the affected suburbs, which include Budi-riro, Kuwadzana, Mufakose, Glen Norah, Glen View, Kambuzuma and Rugare. He urged residents to use the available water sparingly.

Harare residents have not had adequate water in the past few weeks owing to serious plant breakdowns at Morton Jaffray, huge leaks on the reticulation system and a high demand caused by the rising temperatures.

In his report to the environmental management committee, Eng Zvobgo attributed the water shortages to rising temperatures and constant infrastructure breakdowns. He said the city was throttling supplies in all areas that were fed directly from the water mains and would continue with the leak-sealing exercise. He said the city had introduced rotational water rationing.

But due to difficulties in the water distribution system, the water could not be rationed equitably.

He said the furthest and highest areas would continue to receive less water with Hatcliffe, Highlands, Borrowdale, Dzivaresekwa and Msasa Park the hardest hit.

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