Government has taken over Morton Jaffray Waterworks to ensure residents access potable water after Acting President Kembo Mohadi yesterday facilitated the clearance of water treatment chemicals at the border while the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) and District Development Fund (DDF) chipped in with technical assistance.
Pumping of water at Morton Jaffray was expected to resume by midnight following Government's intervention, with Acting Harare Mayor Councillor Enock Mupamawonde also announcing that the city had secured seven days' supply of water treatment chemicals from a local company.
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, Acting Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said Government had lost faith in Harare city fathers as they have failed to provide basic services that led to the cutting of water supplies for the entire Harare metropolitan area yesterday.
Minister Ziyambi said the Government set up a committee of technocrats that will assist council in handling the $37,4 million that was availed by Treasury last week for capital projects, amid reports that previous grants and loans were grossly abused.
"The Government has facilitated priority clearance for the lorry carrying chlorine gas from South Africa. The consignment should arrive within the next 36 hours. The council has secured enough calcium hypochlorite granules, also known as HTH, for the next 36 hours.
"We met with the Acting President and immediately we set up mechanisms to ensure that South African and Zimbabwe revenue authorities expedite the clearance of those chemicals so that they can arrive within the next 36 hours.
"Morton Jaffray Waterworks commenced operations earlier today. The conveyance of the water in trunk lines will commence anytime now and people can start to expect water in their taps around midnight. A further 35 tonnes of HTH has been secured to provide a stockpile to ensure that this shut down of the water works does not recur," he said.
Minister Ziyambi warned not to get into council in order to secure deals for themselves without providing services.
"We are giving them money for capital projects, but what we have decided to do is to have a committee to support them, we no longer trust them, we have in the past given them monies, loans and they bought vehicles so we want this money to be used for the specific purpose it has been released hence we are setting up this committee to assist them do that.
"We believe that Harare City Council is not doing its job and Government cannot continue bailing out the city. It used to be one of the richest councils and in fact they prioritise other things as opposed to service delivery and we are now demanding that they become accountable to residents and we are going to ensure that happens and be strict in terms of the way they conduct themselves," he said.
On technical experts, ZINWA acting chief executive officer Engineer Taurayi Maurikira said the team was already on the ground working at Morton Jaffrey which was reopened yesterday after getting some local supplies of chemicals.
"Under the section 5(e) and (i) of ZINWA Act it is empowered to intervene when there are challenges in local authorities. We hold the mandate to supply water but it is the local authorities that that have the powers to distribute it.
"We are part of the technical committees set up by Government that are looking at Morton Jaffrey by providing technical knowledge from the production line to the distribution water points," he said.
District Development Fund (DDF)'s Water Supplies and Maintenance director Mr Edwin Toriro said it was in process of drilling more boreholes in Harare to alleviate the water crisis after Government allocated $60 million for projects.
"Government allocated $60 million for this year which is meant to cover borehole drilling and installation, irrigation development, small scale irrigation scheme, small piped water system rehabilitation and hand pumping rehabilitation," he said.
The Government's agency recently drilled 15 boreholes in Glen View.