Gweru requires $1,9m for water chemicals

GWERU City Council urgently requires $1 951 692 for water treatment chemicals if the local authority is to provide safe and clean water to residents, a senior council official revealed last week at a supplementary budget consultation meeting.

BY STEPHEN CHADENGA

Acting finance director Owen Masimba said water chemicals were the biggest cost-drivers of new tariffs proposed in the $78 million supplementary budget, adding that the prices of water chemicals had increased by more than 400% during the past few months.

“When we initially made our $45 million budget, we set aside $331 500 for 390 tonnes of aluminium sulphate, but in the supplementary budget, we are saying $1 774 500 is now required for the chemical,” Masimba said.

“As for chlorine gas, we need 3,24 tonnes. They were initially budgeted at $10 076, but $51 192 is now required, while for the HTH chemical, the six tonnes budgeted for now require $126 000 from the initial $21 000 budgeted for.”

Masimba said besides water chemicals, fuel costs were also high, with $3 078 240 required from the initial budget of $766 656. He said council required 580 800 litres of fuel during the whole year.

“These (water treatment chemicals) are big cost drivers as council battles to deliver affordable and adequate potable water,” he said.

“It is common cause that prices of most commodities have been on an upward trend, while local authorities’ tariffs have remained static.”

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