HARARE’s perennial water woes may soon be a thing of the past following a deal between the city and a Chinese financial institution.
REPORT BY WONAI MASVINGISE
Harare has put in place plans to revamp all water pumps and valves at Morton Jaffray waterworks and Warren Control starting this month-end.
The upgrading exercise has been made possible by a $144 million loan from the Chinese Export and Import Bank.
A delegation from Sinosure, a Chinese insurance company that insured the loan to Harare City Council (HCC), arrived in the country yesterday to assess the scope of work to be undertaken.
HCC water department engineer Christopher Zvobgo told NewsDay on the sidelines of a tour of Morton Jaffray yesterday that the water situation was set to improve.
“The water will still not be enough, but the supply will be more reliable,” Zvobgo said.
“This plant will now be producing almost up to its designed capacity. What that means is that all the equipment we have here will now be reliable.
“The first plant was built in 1953 which means it is 60 years old. Because it is old, it is unreliable and less efficient. After this project is complete we expect that at least for the next 15 years we will not have any hassles.”
Morton Jaffray waterworks has a design capacity to produce over 700 megalitres of treated water daily, but is currently down to an average 600 megalitres.
Zvobgo added that after the project is finalised, Morton Jaffray will be expected to produce 140 mega litres more than its current capacity.
The project is expected to commence later this month with the first phase expected to be complete by mid-October.
In a statement, HCC said part of the loan would be used to install 1 000 pre-paid water meters on a pilot scheme in Harare’s avenues areas.
“All city households will have new water meters to replace the old ones, most of which are 20 years old,” the statement reads.
“There will also be plugging of leaks on pipes connected to Morton (Jaffray) and installation of water-flow meters to gauge the amount of water reaching the residents. Some of the money will go towards the digitalisation of water distribution with all resevoirs being linked to Morton Jaffray by satellite.”