GOVERNMENT has ordered Harare City Council to engage the top 10 commercial water consumers with a view of making them pay up to US$2 million in advance for water usage. The money is required to buy pressure reducing valves to be installed on the city's water reticulation mains.
Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo recently gave the directive when he met with mayor Muchadeyi Masunda, his deputy Mr Emmanuel Chiroto, town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi and senior council officials. He said Harare was losing a lot of water due to pipe bursts caused by high pressure.
"We have ordered the city to talk to top 10 water users and get the US$2 million," he said.
The corporate sector has always shown interest to assist, but has been let down by the city's red tape.
Non-availability of water affects industrial production and often results in the loss of jobs, revenue and working hours. Harare loses up to 60 percent of its treated water due to leaks caused by pipe bursts, with the high pressure also denying other areas of water supplies.
Minister Chombo said Government was appalled by the "lack of seriousness" on the part of Mr Masunda and his council to attend to issues that affect residents.
Garbage collection, potholed roads, grass cutting, inadequate water supplies and non functioning street lights are among the issues that Mr Masunda and his team were ordered to address "with immediate effect".