Our Water Isn’t Safe For Drinking, It Smells, Says Harare City Council

In shocking revelations, Harare City Council (HCC) water director Christopher Zvobgo sensationally told city fathers on Friday that Harare was pumping poor quality water to the residents.


Speaking during a full council meeting, Zvobgo told councillors that the city’s water, which has always been questionable, was not safe for drinking.

His response came after Mabvuku councillor Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi raised a complaint that his ward had not received water in weeks.

According to environmental committee minutes, the raw water in Lake Chivero had become very poor such that it affected the output.
Our Water Isn’t Safe For Drinking, It Smells, Says Harare City Council
“It is now impossible for people in my ward to do anything because we have not had water in a very long time. Even our boreholes are not producing anything. Mabvuku is literally dry at this moment,” Kufahakutizwi said.

However, Zvobgo indicated that due to some technical problems the water situation in Harare had reached its all-time low.

He said because of various faults at the different stations, Harare had to reduce water production from 550 megalitres (mL) per day to just 450 mL against a demand of 800 mL.

“The situation right now is dire. The quality of water that we are currently pumping is the worst in years. It is poor. Right now if you go to Morton Jaffray, it is actually smelling.


“The city simply has no capacity to be pumping the water that it should per day. We are simply not able to treat the raw water that is coming into Morton Jaffray,” Zvobgo said.

Borrowdale councillor Allan Markham said Harare’s water situation was a direct reflection of the city’s wetlands such as Mukuvisi and Monavale.

Markham argued that the city has always had an uneven distribution of water which leaves areas such as Mabvuku, Borrowdale, Mount Pleasant and Hatcliffe disenfranchised.

“Had it not been for reckless issuance of construction permits, wetlands would be playing their part as natural water purifiers. Right now Alex Park pump station has three pumps that are not working and the rest are on their knees.

“But with all that you still give residents in Borrowdale and Hatcliffe fixed water bills despite them not receiving any water. As we speak the city is attaching property from Hatcliffe residents who owe $200, yet there are ‘untouchables’ who owe thousands in water bills,” Markham said.

Despite the poor water availability in Harare, the city will be rolling out 2 000 smart water meters in the first quarter of 2016 on a pilot project.

According to HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme, the meters will be installed in the Avenues area, Central Business District and suburbs that surround the city centre, which get uninterrupted supply of water.
Source: Daily News

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