Govt appoints technical committee to solve Harare water woes

Government has set up a 19-member technical team chaired by University of Zimbabwe Civil Engineering lecturer Professor Hodson Makurira, to solve Harare’s severe water problems.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka announced the committee yesterday as the Second Republic goes overdrive to solve Harare’s water woes.

The move is part of the general drive by President Mnangagwa and the Government to ensure that there are adequate water supplies in all towns and cities and rural and urban centres so residents get water on a sustainable basis.

This dovetails with President Mnangagwa’s vision that the Second Republic will carry out a national championship rehabilitation programme of all water purification plants, and construct Gwayi-Shangani, Mutange, Musami and Kunzvi dams and the Wenimbi pipeline.

In a statement yesterday Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Anxious Masuka said: “In terms of section 6 of the Water Act, Government has appointed a technical team to assist the city of Harare to resolve water challenges currently troubling the capital, the bulk water challenges, conveyance issues, treatment works problems.

“Last week President Mnangagwa directed that we put in three immediate measures. The first one was to purchase one-month worth of chemical to treat water in Harare. The Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion will be working closely with the technical team to ensure that the chemical is available so that we get treatment from the current 303 megalitres to 520 megalitres a day.

“The President also directed that we dedicate a drilling rig to the city of Harare. The Minister of State and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan will be coordinating this effort but the dedicated rig is under the Zimbabwe National Water Authority,’’ he said.

Members of the technical committee were competent Zimbabweans from several institutions so that they complement this effort. This would ensure that Harare had additional ideas about how to resolve the challenges in a more sustainable manner, said the minister.

“The terms of reference for the committee are to increase and maintain water production to around 520 ML/day and reduce non-revenue water from 59 percent to 55 percent. They will ensure improved potable water supply coverage in the city from 40 percent to 60 percent. They should recommend the institutional strengthening required to improve water and sanitation service delivery.”

More than 300 boreholes have been established in Harare to alleviate water challenges as President Mnangagwa’s initiative continues to deliver potable water across the country.

Besides the 35 000 village boreholes, Government is targeting 1 000 boreholes under the Presidential Borehole Drilling Scheme which will be drilled in urban areas particularly hotspots of water-borne diseases.

This follows failure by opposition-led councils to provide basic services such as potable water to urban dwellers, opening the doors to the spread of diseases such as cholera.

Residents in Harare have welcomed Government’s initiative to establish a technical committee saying it will alleviate water challenges in various parts of the city and will ensure a decline in the spread of diseases.

Mrs Marita Muriro of Hopley said borehole drilling is a welcome development in her area but appealed to the authorities to speed up the process adding that they are relying on water sources such as wells.

“So far we rely on wells, our boreholes are still under construction. We also appeal if we can have tap water here. Some of our wells are not well covered and this might lead to the spread of diseases,’’ he said.

Another resident from Hopley Mr Clemence Mushubi thanked the Government for the timely response following an outbreak of cholera.

“We are happy that our Government has intervened quickly because without water we cannot do anything at all. I’m sure cholera cases will go down if we get adequate water supply,’’ he said.

Another resident, Mrs Memory Mugoni, echoed the same sentiments, saying the boreholes had brought relief to Epworth.

“We would like to thank our benevolent President for drilling boreholes in this area. We are very happy because when we used to visit wells to fetch water we would spend the whole day queuing to fill up a 20-litre bucket,” she said.

Mrs Barbra Machingauta said the boreholes have brought convenience in Epworth as they have not been receiving water for a long period.

“Our President is doing wonders. He is working hard to make sure that people’s concerns are addressed. We women used to have a heavy burden of carrying buckets in wheel barrows and pushcarts to go and fetch water from unprotected sources, but now we have boreholes which provide clean and safe water,” she said.


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