By Helen Kadirire
Harare’s water rationing regime is affecting more and more people as the city tries to manage its water demand.
Harare City Council (HCC) spokesperson Michael Chideme said while the city was trying to provide the precious liquid to its ratepayers, it had to ensure that everyone accessed water.
The rationing comes as Harare is trying to control a cholera outbreak that has so far killed more than 50 people, while more than 10 000 people were hospitalised.
“We have always had demand management to share water equitably to all ratepayers. We are averaging 440 megalitres (Ml) a day. We are however, soon to increase that water supply by 75 megalitres a day,” Chideme said.
Prior to the rationing, Harare had started producing 520Ml of water per day against a demand of 800Ml per day. With the average water supply only half of what is needed, towns such as Chitungwiza, Ruwa, Norton, Epworth and Goromonzi would be affected.
Chitungwiza with its population of more than 300 000 people requires more than 400Ml daily, however, it only receives 29Ml from Harare, while Norton gets 5Ml against a demand of 20Ml.
Harare mayor Herbert Gomba said had it not been for the Greater Harare region that the city supplies, the water that HCC produces would suffice.
Residents at the CABS Budiriro housing project have gone for a week without water, with fears by the residents that cholera will not be contained.
An employee with council, however, told the Daily News that one of the road repairs contractors had damaged a pipe that supplies water to the new suburb.
Harare is on record stating that even if refurbishment of Morton Jaffray using the $144 million China Exim Bank loan is completed, some parts of the city will still experience water problems.
While areas such as Mabvuku and Tafara are now receiving water two days a week albeit in small quantities, other areas such as Borrowdale, Hatcliffe and Budiriro do not have a regular supply.
The $144 million loan has been a bone of contention with residents associations after an audit in 2014 revealed that part of the money was misappropriated and used to purchase top-of-the-range vehicles under the guise of “project cars”.
Last year, Community Water Alliance and the Combined Harare Residents Association petitioned council demanding an update on the loan.
They requested that council should include the full details of how they will pay the loan in the report.
The resident associations also requested to know how residents were supposed to repay the loan with $7 million bi-annual payments when the service they were receiving was of poor quality. DailyNews