Midlands capital loses 70% treated water

A girl draws water from a borehole in Harare's Mbare suburb. Old water supply infrastructure, coupled with poor maintenance and budget constraints have left some residents of Harare going without tap water for months or even years. As a result boreholes have been drilled across most of the city's low class residential areas to help supplement tap water.


GWERU City Council lost at least 70% of its pumped water in January alone through leakages, a council official has revealed.

Councillor Trust Chineni (ward 15), who is the chairperson of the environment, works and town planning committee, said council would take the necessary steps to identify the leakages.

“In January alone, we pumped 100%, losing 70% of that water,” he said at an ordinary council meeting last week.

“We are working on mechanisms to make sure that we trace where we are losing water through leaks (along) our (water) network. We cannot afford to lose such amount of water.”

A service level benchmarking peer review report carried out last year revealed that the local authority was losing at least 57% of its treated water through
burst pipes and leakages, with most of its equipment having outlived its lifespan.

Over the years, the Midlands capital has been urged to modernise its water reticulation system in order to minimise leakages.

In 2017, councillors and management failed to agree on a proposal to introduce a levy to address some of the challenges faced by the city, with some saying it
would further burden the ratepayers.

Last week, mayor Josiah Makombe revealed that council would use the $3,4 million devolution fund allocation to upgrade water infrastructure.