HARARE City Council is unable to replace 3 000 kilometres of old pipes after securing only US$14 million, enough to replace 150km of the pipes that are riddled with leaks. The pipes were laid nearly 60 years ago.
Speaking at a recent special council meeting on service delivery, town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi said council did not have enough money to replace all the old water pipes.
Many of Harare's suburbs go for days without water that is lost mainly due to leaks.
The US$14 million for the replacement of the 150km old pipes is part of US$56 million set aside for water treatment plants upgrade and installation of pressure-reducing valves.
Dr Mahachi said once the leakages were attended to, the city could adequately supply 80 percent of the 2,2 million residents with clean water daily.
"The city does not have enough financial resources and is therefore targeting 150km of pipe replacement at a cost of US$14 million, pressure reducing valves at a cost of US$2 million and treatment works rehabilitation at a cost of US$40 million."
Dr Mahachi said the upgrade of the water plants was covered by part of the US$144 million loan facility from China.
The pressure-reducing valves would increase water delivery by an additional 60 million litres a day as most pipe bursts were a result of high pressure.
Dr Mahachi said the city's water quality had deteriorated due to domestic, agricultural and industrial activities with Chitungwiza, Ruwa and Epworth being blamed for upstream pollution.
"Sewage works in these local authorities are dysfunctional, resulting in raw sewage flowing into the dams since they are located downstream of the settlements," he said.
Dr Mahachi said council received another 11 of the 27 refuse trucks from Paza Basta for waste management.
He said the zonal system created recently to manage refuse collection was working well.
The town clerk said door-to-door refuse collection was progressing well, but expressed dismay at some refuse collection teams that refused to collect excess bins.
He said most illegal garbage dumps in the city had been cleared.
"A system of composting has been introduced whereby decomposing material from markets is dumped at Ashdown Park and Hillside Nursery for future use as manure," said Dr Mahachi.
He said Kuwadzana Extension Clinic would be opened this month, while work was progressing well on the Budiriro Phase 5 Clinic.
Dr Mahachi said roads were in a bad shape because they did not receive attention in over 15 years.
"The road network in the city is negatively affected by poor road surfaces, markings and signage, inadequate streetlighting and non-functional traffic lights," he said.
He said council secured US$10 million from a local bank and another US$2 million from Zinara to buy road maintenance equipment.
Tenders for the equipment have been awarded to Puzey and Payne and Pazza Basta.
"These new assets are expected to be delivered by April and this will go a long way to increasing road maintenance works quality and output," he said.
Councillors expressed satisfaction with the service delivery report and urged management to expedite the implementation of outstanding service delivery resolutions.