City water revenue plunges

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HARARE City Council revenues have taken a plunge to $4,5 million from an average of $6 million monthly as the local authority is also losing huge quantities of treated water through leakages.

STAFF REPORTER

The development comes in the wake of an order by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo for local authorities to write off residents’ debts.

The council is losing at least 62% of its treated water to leakages and “non-revenue water”.

Speaking at a workshop to discuss the city’s water situation, the director for water Engineer Christopher Zvobgo said some residents in the city were illegally removing water meters.

“Others completely removed the meters, for example in Mabvuku,” said Zvobgo.

“I don’t know what has been happening with our meter readers because they have been constantly giving us readings from these meters, but when we went there, there was nothing.”

He urged consumers to reduce water usage in order to conserve the precious liquid and singled out Sunningdale for using large volumes of water at the expense of other residents.

Zvobgo said plans were underway to introduce smart meters that would work in the same manner as Zesa’s prepaid meters.
“We have to introduce smart meters because we are losing a lot due to under-metering,” Zvobgo said.

He said Harare needed $3 million for water treatment chemicals and $1,1 million to service energy costs.

Director of finance Cosmas Zvikaramba said 50% of meters in Harare were not working, adding: “Where there is no water, we should not come up with strange figures. That is why our consumers say our billing system is chaotic.”

7 COMMENTS

  1. Mr Zvikaramba can you also knock some sense into the powers might be in Chitungwiza to come up with realistic figures when billing residents who get water four to six days a month?

  2. Very good Mr. Zvogbo, so by your own account all the bills you were sending out were fake, right? And how does that help the billing department? Get rid of that department and imagine the savings you will make if you were to outsource this important activity? And the Minister concerned has rewritten his brief..chasing the MDC into caves instead of making sure that local authorities function properly..talk of incompetence writ large????

  3. OH by the way Harare needs less than USD3 million for water treatment..This because some 25% is being lost to corruption not burst water pipe. Can the Treasurer and his colleagues explain why they are paying 75 cents for solid aluminium sulphate when everyone who produces the product is charging 55 cents maximum..what happens to the other 20 cents. This is by no means small considering the tender is for 24 million kgs. This translates to 4.8 million dollars going into some deep pockets, this as per your last tender results. Add to this short deliveries or 10-15% of deliveries..this is another 5.5 cents lost in this fashion or 1.32 million dollars bringing the whole annual deficit lost through sticky fingers to 6.1 million or half a million dollars per month and this is for one product out of the 7 or eight chemicals needed to treat the water..Where is the shame I ask?

  4. The main problem at Harare City is Chombo and ZPF. They have instilled a culture of corruption to alarming levels and in the process created so many untouchable characters.How do you explain someone taking over council property and renting it out for years. Its the politics that rules the day not pure local authority management. Service delivery to them is not core business. They are worried about power and enriching themselves.

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