The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Harare Faces Water Rationing

CITY of Harare will soon introduce water rationing as part of efforts to find a lasting solution to water problems afflicting the city. Most suburbs have been receiving water intermittently for the past four days following a major pipe burst at Prince Edward Water Works.

There are also perennial water shortages in some areas that council has failed to address.

Town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi yesterday said the city would come up with a proper water rationing schedule as they continue to refurbish the city's water equipment.

"We are going to be scheduling and publishing the water cuts to residents as we battle to replace the obsolete equipment in the city's water system," he said.

In parts of Kuwadzana, Budiriro, Glen View, Mufakose, Kambuzuma and other western suburbs, residents only receive water at night.

"I fail to understand what they mean by that because they started rationing water long back.

"What surprises us is their billing system. In some cases we receive huge bills that do not justify the little water that we receive," said Mr Robert Mazarura of Glen View.

Areas such as Mabvuku, Tafara, Ruwa, Greendale and others in the eastern parts of Harare have had perennial water challenges.

Mbare hostels are the worst affected as they use communal toilets that double up as bathrooms.

There has been no water in most of the hostels for the past four days, posing a health scare.

In hostels such as Nenyere Flats, residents were fetching water from a nearby industrial park while others were resorting to unsafe water sources such as drains and shallow wells along Mukuvisi River.

"We have nowhere else to go to, though we are not aware of where this water is coming from.

"This is the only source of water we have at the present moment," said Rodgers Manyeruke of Mbare.

Council authorities attributed the crisis to ageing equipment, shortage of water treatment chemicals and incessant power cuts by Zesa.

Harare Residents Trust director Mr Precious Shumba said Harare mayor Mr Muchadeyi Masunda should resign because he has failed to run the city.

"We are advocating that the mayor steps down as he has dismally failed to develop the city. When residents go without water we expect local authorities to intervene through bowsers," he said.

Mr Shumba accused city fathers of fabricating petty excuses to justify their failure.

"They come up with excuses in a clear demonstration of their failure to prioritise provision of clean water.

"They have failed to upgrade the infrastructure and to improve their water sources," he said.

Mr Shumba urged the city authorities to seek assistance from the central Government and other humanitarian organisations.

Recent assumptions are that Harare is producing enough water but is losing up to 60 percent of it through leaks.

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