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No good news about clean water

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HARARE City Council seems to be losing its battle to provide clean potable water amid reports by the city’s director of water Christopher Zvobgo that most of the water treatment plants were malfunctioning.

Report by Moses Matenga  Staff Reporter

The report, titled Harare Water Supply Status, Challenges and the Way Forward seen by NewsDay, cited obsolete infrastructure  resulting in massive leakages and constant breakdowns at the water plants.

“Our plants are operating without standby pumps and any pump breakdown results in loss of production. Four pumps have since been replaced at Morton Jaffray (waterworks). The pump delivery manifold for the Morton Jaffray pumps that deliver water to Lochinvar and Marimba is frequently breaking down. Its replacement is urgently needed, but it requires a major shutdown of the plant,” the report read.

“There is increased loss of water through leakages in the distribution network. The greater percentage of water losses is through the main transmission mains . . . the pipe work in valve chambers is now corroded and needs replacement.”

“A lot of welding is being done as an interim measure, but cannot completely stop the leakages.

“The department receives an average 50 water burst reports per day. The response time to these bursts is affected by the unavailability of materials, plant and equipment,” read the report.

Zvobgo said that the most affected areas were Hatcliffe, Highlands, Borrowdale, Dzivaresekwa and Msasa Park. The city said there was need for the rehabilitation of Morton Jaffray Waterworks and was expecting to receive $25 million from China Exim Bank targeted for that project.

“We received a grant of $9,5 million from the African Development Bank. Part of these funds ($2,8 million) will be used in the rehabilitation of Morton Jaffray to increase plant reliability.

“From the same facility, there is a provision ($2 million) for leakage repairs and supply of water meters to reduce non-revenue water. The remainder will be used for sewage treatment works.”

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