Masunda spells out solution to urban water woes

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Harare Mayor, Muchadeyi Masunda, says the only way Harare and Chitungwiza water woes could be brought to an end was to have strategic dams for the two towns.

Masunda said this last week during an interview with NewsDay on the water crisis besetting Harare.

“The way forward is to bring Kunzwi Dam on stream because right now the installed capacity of Morton Jaffray Waterworks that draws water from Lake Chivero and Manyame River — which serves Greater Harare, Norton, Ruwa, Epworth and Chitungwiza — is 604 megalitres per day for a hub of four million people,” said Masunda.

“The second main water treatment plant, which is Prince Edward, extracts water from Harawa and Seke dams and they provide 90 megalitres. If you add it up with the installed capacity of Morton Jaffray, it gives us 704 megalitres,” he said.

The figure, Masunda said, was against a requirement of 1 200 megalitres in winter and 1 400 in summer.

“Since the commissioning of Morton Jaffray Waterworks in 1953, the plant has not been expanded to correspond with the increasing population. The colonial government used to service water infrastructure every five years, but since independence there has not been any upgrade. Prince Edward has not been upgraded since 1973 and that is why there is a shortfall,” he said.

The mayor said non-availability of electricity was also disrupting processing at the waterworks.

He said refurbishment of infrastructure needed to be funded as residents and businesses were struggling to service their bills.

Amongst the institutions that owed the City of Harare water department were government ministries and departments which owed $70 million.

Chitungwiza Town Council owed $7,7 million, the University of Zimbabwe $2, 3 million, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals $2,1 million while Norton Town Council owed $1,02 million.

Harare suburbs like Msasa Park, Mabelreign, Borrowdale, Greendale, Mandara, Orange Grove, Mabvuku, Tynwald and parts of Westgate have been experiencing water problems due to archaic infrastructure.

The entire Chitungwiza town experiences perennial water shortages and at times goes for weeks without water.