Harare’s Ward 13 Councilor, Brian Matione has dismissed claims by the government that the opposition-controlled Harare City Council is behind the water shortages bedevilling the capital.
Speaking during a community meeting held by the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) in Rugare on Wednesday, Matione said the government had failed to honour its obligation in terms of water provision.
He bemoaned that the situation in Harare was getting worse while the government was busy playing politics.
“I would like to put the record straight and tell you that it is the government that is responsible for the construction of water sources such as dams. In light of the water challenges in Harare, it is the government that must honour its obligation and construct other water sources as a way of saving the situation,” said Matione.
He said that the government’s failure to construct the Kunzvi dam, which would have eased Harare’s water woes was a matter of concern.
“Lake Chivero has been overwhelmed by demand and we should not be given excuses of low water levels because even if the lake is filled to capacity, we will still continue to experience water challenges.
“We are supplying water to Harare Chitungwiza, Norton and Morton Jaffray water treatment plant has a capacity of 800 mega liters per day yet we require 1 200 mega liters per day. So Lake Chivero is already overwhelmed hence the need for the government to construct more water sources, said Matione.
CHRA has made calls for the government to declare the water situation in Harare a disaster in order to pave way for humanitarian assistance. The residents’ association is also on record saying that it was irresponsible for the government to play politics and shift blame while residents continue to sit on a health time bomb.
Councilor Matione reiterated CHRA’s position that the government should source funding from the donor community as a way of dealing with Harare’s water crisis.
“In light of the impending disaster, it is mandatory for the government to declare the water situation a disaster so that we get the required assistance. If we had the powers we would have declared the situation a disaster to pave way for assistance.,” said Matione.
Harare City Council official, Mercy Makuvatsine emphasized that the solution to Harare’s water woes lies in constructing more water sources and highlighted that in the face of limited resources, the government ought to declare a disaster.
CHRA Programmes Officer, Answer Tafadzwa Moyana rallied residents to support CHRA’s efforts in petitioning the government to declare the water situation in Harare a disaster.