LOCAL Government minister July Moyo has disclosed that more than 5 000km of Harare’s water pipes were obsolete, causing the city to lose about 60% of its treated water through leakages.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Moyo was responding to a question by Manicaland Senator Keresencia Chabuka, who had asked him to explain why water taps in Harare’s suburbs were perennially dry.
“The problem with the reticulation system in Harare is that 5 000km of water pipes are as good as dead,” Moyo said.
“They lose 60% of that water which is pumped, and so there is no way that the water can reach every home.
“The waterworks at Morton Jaffray has not been pumping very well. However, we got some support of $72 million, which we have put in Morton Jaffray Waterworks to upgrade it so that it can pump more water to Harare.”
Moyo said there must be a water utility system that caters for all urban areas around the metropolitan area of Harare, including urban areas that fall under Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West that were now encroaching onto the Harare Metropolitan area.
“We know very well that there is rural to urban migration and that needs to be planned by the local authorities, and the city fathers and mothers to make sure that it is consistent with the growth of the population.”
The minister said in cities like Harare, expansion had taken place with people building in areas where expansion of water mains had not taken place. Some of those places included Caledonia and Harare South.
“I can say for the last 20 years, we have had serious problems with water reticulation in most of our urban centres, partly because investments or planning by the local authorities has not been consistent with the expansion that has taken place in those urban areas,” Moyo said.
He added that Harare’s water woes were worsened by the fact that the city supplies water to other towns like Chitungwiza, Epworth, Ruwa and Norton.
“Obviously, we need to renew the water pipes that distribute to all the areas in Harare, Chitungwiza, Ruwa, Epworth and Norton,” Moyo said.