Harare Water department is carrying out an audit across the city to verify the number of metered water connections following preliminary indications that only 180 000 out of 400 000 households were being billed for water consumption. Harare water waste water manager Engineer Simon Muserere who was recently appointed to lead the 24/7 team that seeks to ensure around the clock water delivery said the pilot audit was carried out in Budiriro.
Next week the audit moves to Milton Park, Belvedere and the industrial sites.
"In Budiriro figures available are that we have 23 820 properties at various levels of development excluding illegal developments yet only 11 833 properties are being billed," he said.
Harare wide, Eng Muserere said, the city had 400 000 properties but only got water payments from 180 000 households.
"We have captured illegal connections, unmetered stands, blank stands, water leakage points, non functional meters, sewage blockages and discharge points," he said.
The department, he said, had completed the computerisation of water and sewer infrastructure for Budiriro and Hopley.
That exercise had, however, uncovered huge anomalies in the allocation of residential and commercial buildings in the areas.
"We are noticing that some have occupied areas designated for schools and churches. This will constrain water supply in addition to other town planning and statutory issues," he said.
As part of efforts to increase water delivery and ensure timeous payment for water consumed, Eng Muserere said the top 100 consumers, top 100 creditors and top 100 industries would receive special attention.
"We want to agree on service level expectations so that they pay within the month of consumption," he said.
Eng Muserere said the audit would also establish why Harare failed to adequately supply its 2,2 million residents with water with a daily water production capacity of 714 million litres when eThekwini Municipality of South Africa manages to give its 3,8 million residents water around the clock with 900 million litres a day.
Half of the industry in Harare is operating at full capacity. The city is able to supply only 20 percent of the population around the clock, 38 percent for between three and five days a week and 25 percent on two days per week.