HARARE Mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni, says the municipality is losing 60% of treated water because of its old and dilapidated distribution network.
The council spends approximately $3 million monthly in the purchase of water treatment chemicals alone.
The design capacity of Harare was around 300 000 residents and currently the council is compelled to supply and serve water and other needs for 10 times that number.
Harare residents need 800 million litres of water per day but the city is currently able to meet only 400 million litres per day.
In his state of the city monthly address Mayor Manyenyeni said this was “unacceptably painful”.
“I commend the Harare Water Department for efforts to fix the water bursts but there is need to maintain timing and planning balance between digging and fixing.
“We need to improve on the monitoring of the dug-up areas so that they cease to be a danger to the public,” said the mayor.
Manyenyeni added that the department of water’s focus is on increasing supplies coverage, maximizing revenues and reducing operational costs.
“The most worrying submission I am making to stakeholders is the level of pollution of our raw water source, Lake Chivero. It has become necessary (at times) to stop pumping water because of the very poor quality of intake water.”
Harare is currently rehabilitating and upgrading the water and sewerage infrastructure through assistance of the Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund (Zimfund) Grant, the China Exim Bank Loan Facility and own resources (City’s Revenues).
The projects are at various stages of completion with the Zimfund Phase I project at commissioning stage and the China Exim Bank Loan Facility projects at 40% overall progress.
About 6000 have been replaced in Mabvuku, 4 000 in Budiriro and 1001 in Kuwadzana and the programme is ongoing.
The implementation of the projects has resulted in water production output increasing from about 400 million liters per day by 2013 to about 500 million liters per day as at 31 December 2015, and water supply improvements across Greater Harare.