By Yeukai Karengezeka
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has released US$1,2 million to Harare City Council for the procurement of water treatment chemicals, an official has said.
Council requires an average of $2,5 million to $2,8 million every month to pay for the chemicals.
Harare corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said the money came at the right time as the local authority had run out of some of the chemicals.
“We appreciate the continued commitment by the central bank to assist us in paying our two water chemical suppliers in foreign currency. Already, we had run of out sulphuric acid and HTH chlorine.
“We now await the disbursement of the balance so that we can fully provide water to the people. Failure to deliver water would negatively impact on the health of our citizens and the economy,” he said.
The move by RBZ follows the public admission by former Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni last year that the water pumped by council into residents’ homes may not be safe for human consumption.
The city has frequently experienced water supply challenges due partly to aging infrastructure and the erratic supply of water treatment chemicals.
Harare requires up to eight chemicals to make its water potable and all the chemicals used at the plant require foreign currency as most of them are imported, except for liquid aluminium sulphate which is produced locally.
Since the engagement with RBZ, the city has been able to significantly improve service delivery.
RBZ has in the past also been providing foreign currency for the procurement of plant and machinery for the capacitation of the Department of Works to improve service delivery.
The city has taken delivery of refuse compactors and tipper trucks, 10 skip trucks for the removal of skip bins at markets and shopping centres. The Herald