BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
HARARE mayor Jacob Mafume says the city requires about US$800 million to end the capital’s water challenges.
Mafume said the city’s 1950s water reticulation system must be revamped.
“At the moment, we have an installed capacity of 620 megalitres (ML) and we are processing about 320ML. We have to go to 450 (ML) towards the end of the year. But if we are able to put about 550ML into the pumping system, every resident will get water four days per week,” Mafume said soon after touring Harare City Council’s Morton Jaffray and Warren Control Waterworks,
“To be able to feed the Greater Harare, we need to revamp our water system. Morton Jaffray is an old plant built in the 1950s. We need a whole new water system that is able to cater for three million plus people.”
Mafume said the city should also introduce prepaid water meters to stop leakages by ensuring all properties are billed.
“We are able to generate funding if we introduce prepaid meters which will improve our revenue collection from 50% and make it a bankable process,” he said.
“This can be funded by local or international institutions. The only thing that has stopped our funding has been our inability to show a sustainable financial model in terms of how we will grow the revenue.”
Residents associations and human rights groups have previously spoken against pre-paid meters, saying they would cause water-borne diseases and leave the poor without access to the precious liquid.
Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in charge of Implementation and Monitoring Jorum Gumbo said the Morton Jeffray water treatment plant had outlived its lifespan.
“It is for this reason that government prioritised the upgrading and rehabilitation of water infrastructure and has made significant strides through the release of resources under the auspices of devolution funds,” he said.
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