The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Harare City to Digitalise Operations

Harare City Council is set to digitalise its operations through the Geographical Information System (GIS) a facility that captures, analyses and presents data with reference to geographic location. Speaking at a two-day workshop held by various stakeholders to deliberate on the system, Harare town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi applauded the advent of the new technology, which he said would improve operational efficiency, revenue collection and service delivery.

"It's sad to mention that we don't know how many clients we service as City of Harare and cannot figure out who owes the council money all because of an information vacuum resulting from centralised data.

"A recent study we did revealed that at least 52 000 houses are receiving water yet they are not on our billing system and thus a huge degeneration of revenue hence the advent of this GIS will help in the addressing of such issues," Dr Mahachi said.

The system is anticipated to enhance visualisation of water and sewerage infrastructure on wide geographical areas thereby providing capacity to identify possible opportunities for inter-catchment connectivity.

Mr Wilson Manase chairperson of Humi Pipes Pvt Ltd, the donor of the project gave council eight state-of-the-art computers to enhance service delivery and pledged to work with the City Council until the project is realised by 2014.

"It is our pleasure to give back to the society that made us realise our current status. We are building a big factory along Seke Road as a prelude to this project which will see events turning around for the better to all involved," said Mr Manase.

Water from Morton Jaffray and Prince Edward plants is reported to be producing 640 mega litres, but only 350 mega litres reaches the residents while the rest is lost to a plethora of leakages in the piping system.

City council's department of Housing and Community Development director Mr James Chiyangwa defined it as the genesis of an accurate database.

"This will be a critical tool which will assist in the accounting of the exact number of properties in an area and make easy the investigation of the faults and cutting costs through limited movement for any eventuality," said Mr Chiyangwa.

A steering committee for the project has been set up and the City of Harare would chair it while the terms of references between Zesa and council are set to be harmonised by end of December this year.

The various stakes involved in the project are Zesa, Engineering Council of Zimbabwe, Computer Society of Zimbabwe and The Surveyor General's Office.

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