Financially troubled Harare City Council is battling against critical chemical shortages and has told residents that it will only be able to provide water at least once a week.
Acting Harare Water Director, Engineer Mabhena Moyo told 263Chat following yesterday's full council meeting that the council, through the water rationing exercise currently underway, will be aiming to provide each homestead with water, at least once a week.
He said the council's production level has since drastically declined from more 400 to less than 300 mega-litres per day, a move which has worsened the supply of portable water.
"We are targeting to provide water to our residents with a minimum of once a week' supply of the precious liquid.
"We have been failing to reach our target or our demand management schedule because our production has gone down for a various reason," he said.
Harare water woos are well documented as the authority is failing to supply portable water to the capital and dormitory towns of Chitungwiza, Epworth, Ruwa and Norton Town Councils with a combined estimated total population of about 4.5 million people.
In recent years, Harare municipality has been battling against low water quality due to critical shortage of chemicals which requires in excess of USD$3 million per month.
Zimbabwe's constitution and domestic laws protect the right to water and sanitation.
However, Engineer Moyo said that although the council would want to respect that constitutional mandate, a natural phenomenon like the recent drought that hit the country, have been playing against them.
He noted that the council has had to make do with few supplies of raw water following the drought.
The council, Engineer Mabhena said, has had to close down the Prince Edward Waterworks plant and they have to rely on the Morton Jeffray to service a larger population.
Coupled with a shortage of chemicals, Mabhena said, the plant has since lost 80 mega-litres of water per day due to the drought.
"We will continue with the water rationing exercise for a certain period into the foreseeable future because of the drought and chemicals.
"We are using more chemicals and we have not been able to procure enough safe chemicals," he noted.