10 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Council Tightens Rules On Water Chemicals

Photo: Sylvain Liechti/UN Photo
File Photo.

WATER treatment chemical suppliers should own a chemistry laboratory and a warehouse, Harare City Council has said. The new requirement will result in dealers without the facilities being struck off the suppliers' list.

Harare Water director Eng Christopher Zvobgo said the requirement was in line with Government requirements.

"Each of the laboratories should be manned by a qualified chemist. The city will also inspect the premises of manufacturers and agents to check for compliance," he said.

He said chemical deliveries should be accompanied by test results which would be checked against those conducted at the council water laboratory.

Council uses up to US$3 million a month for nine water treatment chemicals.

The city has set aside US$16 million for water treatment chemicals.

In the past, suppliers would act like middlemen between the manufacturer and the city.

A supplier would receive his consignment and route it directly to the city without checking the package.

Under the new set up, a supplier is required to do "laboratory tests at their laboratory before dispatching chemicals to City of Harare".

The new specifications were presented to the procurement board by chamber secretary Mrs Josephine Ncube and approved by the full council in December.

The new rule follows recommendations by the Ministerial investigations team into the delivery of cyanide to Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant last August.

The team that investigated the wrongful delivery noted that suppliers did not have laboratories to test the chemicals before dispatching them to the city.

But the city would also test the chemical to check whether it meets tender specifications.

"Council approves tender specifications and conditions for S.1/2013 for the supply and delivery of water treatment chemicals," reads part of the minutes.

Meanwhile, the city is buying water bowsers for supplying water to residents.

Harare residents have repeatedly called on the city fathers to use water bowsers when there is no water from their taps.

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