Harare City Council (HCC) is supplying a fraction of the water needed by its residents due to an acute shortage of water treatment chemicals.
The local authority is presently pumping about 160 megalitres daily against a demand of 1 200 megalitres, with residents going for weeks without the precious liquid. Council acting director of waterworks Engineer Mabhena Moyo had this to say:
We are having a challenge with securing enough chemicals to treat water and it is hampering water supply.
The plant has a capacity of about 704 megalitres against 1 200 (megalitres) needed per day and out of that, we are only pumping an average of 160 megalitres per day.
We import chemicals from various suppliers and sometimes we end up incurring debts. Low water tariffs are also hindering the water supply considering that about $40 million is required to purchase chemicals against a monthly collection of about $20 million.
HCC is yet to start drawing water from Lake Manyame, despite getting US$9,3 million from Government three months ago.
Meanwhile, HCC is still using the 2018 budget drafted in 2017 pending approval of the 2019 and the 2020 Budget by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.