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Harare, satellites suffer water cuts


Harare and its satellite towns of Norton, Ruwa and Chitungwiza have to live with the gloomy reality of sporadic water cuts because the capital, which controls the water supplies, has no mechanism to mitigate the effects of power cuts.
Each time Harare has water problems all the satellite towns are affected. Ruwa and Norton have started constructing their own water treatment plants while Chitungwiza has said it wants Harare to cede Prince Edward Water Treatment Plant.
Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda told an Infrastructure and Development Forum this week that council did not have alternative sources of power to fall back on when the national power utility Zesa fails to supply power to the water treatment works.
The development places the city at risk of outbreaks of water- borne disease like cholera as it is not able to treat water at both its treatment plans without power.
Masunda said in a normal environment there should be a back-up for such key infrastructure.
“The sad reality is that we do not have a back-up system,” he said. “Such things can take us back to the time of cholera outbreaks”.
Masunda said he envisaged a situation where the city authorities would take charge of the Harare thermal power station as was the situation in the past so that residents would receive a composite bill.
“Everything starts and ends with us. It would be beneficial if we could generate our own power,” Masunda said.
The city has also been grappling to raise $2 million every month for water treatment chemicals.
Harare City Council has been failing to meet the city’s demand of 1 300 megalitres a day.
The city can only supply 640 megalitres a day, a situation that has seen residents go for days without water.
The quality and quantity of water supplied in the country has declined in recent years owing to the difficult economic situation.
Between August 2008 and end of July last year 4 000 people died from cholera and close to 100 000

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