Residents resort to midnight queues for water


The current water crisis bedevilling Harare has resulted in some Chitungwiza residents queueing for the scarce commodity in the middle of the night.


This comes at a time when engineers have been hired from China to rehabilitate the capital’s water infrastructure.

But Harare city water engineer Christopher Zvobgo yesterday said even the recent hiring of the Chinese experts was not the solution to the city’s perennial water woes as it would only go as far as plugging leakages.

In an interview with NewsDay soon after the arrival of another batch of 15 Chinese engineers, Zvobgo said the rehabilitation of the water pipes would only reduce leakages and slightly improve supplies from the current 300 to 600 megalitres a day against the city’s normal daily requirement of 1 400 megalitres.

“We will not meet the required amount, but we will be able to supply about 600 megalitres a day and eliminate some losses (due to leakages),” Zvobgo said.

He said the 15 engineers, who arrived from China yesterday, were part of the 46 engineers from that country seconded to Harare over the next four years to help with the rehabilitation of Morton Jaffray, Letombo, Firle, Alex Park, Crowborough and Prince Edward waterworks.

The work is part of the $144 million loan facility from Exim Bank.
“The main reason for their coming-in is for the rehabilitation of water storage reticulation in Harare. The main work is at Morton Jaffray pumps so that we bring back the capacity to 614 megalitres a day and once they are through, there will be 50% efficiency in the water supplies,” Zvobgo said.

Harare residents have endured erratic water supplies for several years due to obsolete equipment and limited pumping capacity at Morton Jaffray and Prince Edward waterworks. The shortages have also affected surrounding towns such as Norton and Chitungwiza which rely on water supplies from the capital.

The proposed construction of Kunzvi Dam east of Harare, which has been on the cards for over two decades, has been touted as the lasting solution to the city’s water crisis.

Chitungwiza residents have expressed fears that the water shortages might trigger an outbreak of diseases reminiscent of the 2008 cholera outbreak that claimed 4 000 lives countrywide.

In a statement yesterday, the Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust said: “The water crisis in Chitungwiza has risen to alarming proportions.
In St Mary’s, Zengeza and Seke districts, residents have now resorted to midnight vigils in long queues at the few school water taps to wait for the precious liquid which has become a very scarce commodity. And for some strange reason, these school taps only spit the precious liquid around midnight. From the look of things, a health disaster is looming in Chitungwiza if the water situation does not improve immediately.”


  1. chang long 11 uri aknam you have personal hatred,Zanu yenyu irikutonga ngaigadziriseka tione.honzeri ndiamai vako….haufunge

  2. In the absence of immediate cash injection amounting to billions of US$, the infrastructure is far too gone for rehabilitation. We need new systems altogether to carter for rapid urbanization Zimbabwe is currently experiencing. With a 10 billion debt, We need donors to help us out, but i doubt the ZANU PF government can climb down and ask for help.

    The UN summit will be a perfect platform to extend our begging bowl for the President, but i doubt doubt very much that Zimbabwe, country with so many dams, but can’t provide clean water to its citizens, will forward that agenda. instead i foresee more of the anti-British and America rhetoric when our dear African Hero leader stands up to address the summit.

    Meanwhile back at the ranch, Zimbabwe is a giant dissease-outbreak-prone centre waiting flare up.

    • What a brainwashed ‘intellectual’ who plans on long term financial aid purportedly fm America and the Bri-shit to solve financial woes attributed by Morgan the -antagonist- Chamatama. Find home grown solutions. lf your education does not bring wisdom like you (Taps) then you are useless, a brainless and useless brat indeed. VaMugabe has tried really hard to revamp the economy had it not been for retrogressive elements like you.

      • I thought you were going to suggest some home grown solutions Changlong11. I wonder what home grown solutions are going through your mind right now. More Gonomics, Gazillion Zim dollars printed on bond paper with hardly any security features maybe?

        I wonder what home grown solutions you have for our starving population? Seeing that the re-settled farmers mostly went ahead and planted tobacco instead. Zambia on other hand have maize excess (grown by former Zimbabwean farmers) which they are selling to us, I wonder how the home grown solution applies….to this one.

        Zimbabwe needs aid or Debt relief, we simply can’t afford to service this debt some of it has to be written off. We have to engage those we owe, guess who it is Mr homegrown-man? The West.

  3. I think as zimbos we mst try to look objectively at problems at hand analyse these news stories we read sevanhu vanenjere or vakaendawo kuchikoro..calling each other names will not bring a solution neither does defending those who cannot be defended..the Chinese beng brought are not zimbos neither does borrowing $140million to repair these pipes the best if wt the engineers says about the state of these pipes is Us th povo to suggest to our principals whether we can tolerate a smoke screen solution or we rather prefer a sustainable solution to the problem..Zimboz please let’s be objective in our comments regardless of political affiliation but as learned Zimboz and to those who are not learned but are eager to contribute copying is encouraged or enhancing existing ideas

  4. zvinonetsa izvi. vamwe munorwa kuti ndiyani achagadzira dambudziko, vamwe vakati kukwereta mati mapipe akadhakwa hazvibudi…vamwe tikati tangayi patsva urban planning kuitira vanhu varikuramba vachiwedzera. hatingavakwe dzimba hibho tichichengeta vanhu vazhinji asi toti mapipe akadzirirwa number duku munguva iyoyo ngaatitakure neuwandu hwanhasi…kwete ngazvifambirane. koitawo nyaya yekuti ndezvani? ndezvaminister Chombo nemanzera emaChinja. varume shandayi mose kuti tibudirire…zve sarbotage hazvibudi vanhu vanofa sokutamba!!!

  5. This is failure by our government to run this country. You can’t blame anyone for this. Everyone knew that the urban population in Zimbabwe was growing. This is why we have seen an increase in demand for electricity, treated water, sewage services, transport (withing urban areas) and even foodstuffs. This just requires logical thinking. We continue to build and build houses but we never build on the infrastructure used by these new house. This is common sense, our government does not have common sense. Manual laborers are so cheap in our country. We have thousands that have been sentenced to prison terms with hard labor but they spend the whole day seated in their cells. Why not use those people to the benefit of the economy, how long would it take to train a pipe layer or a bricklayer. Zimbabweans are simply victims of laziness to think. How can we continue to have the same liars running the same departments and then say we are changing how things are done. We can call Tony Blair all kinds of names but we are poor and we are suffering. We can’t even feed ourselves, what has that got to do with the west ? We took the land and have put money into agriculture every year but the return on investment is so disappointing. You write off $330 million and then go on to borrow $144 million, I think that is good sign you don’t know what you are doing.

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