THE Harare City Council resumed water production on Tuesday, a day after shutting down its main water plant, Morton Jaffray Water Works, citing shortage of foreign currency to import water purification chemicals.
Acting Harare mayor Enock Mupamawonde told journalists that the local authority had in the interim secured chemicals sufficient to treat water for the next seven days, while more would be secured as resources become available.
“Harare City Council has found contingent supplies of chemicals to resume water production three hours from now. The suppliers of the chemicals have been paid. The other quantities are coming from Bulawayo and are expected to arrive this (Tuesday) evening,” he said.
The shutdown of the Morton Jaffray Water Works had left the entire capital and its environs without water since Monday morning, with the local authority calling on the government to declare the water crisis a national disaster to allow donors to intervene.
Mupamawonde said water pumping to residents would be progressive from one area to another, with most suburbs expected to begin receiving water early Wednesday morning.
The acting mayor said the city was currently engaging stakeholders, including the government, to find lasting solutions to the capital’s water woes. He noted that investing in new water sources for the city was the only solution to the perennial shortages.
Last week, the government gave the city council 37.4 million Zimbabwe dollars so that it can address the water challenges but the council said the money was too little.
“The release and disbursements from Treasury have nothing to do with chemicals but some other service delivery requirements,” Mupamawonde said.
The capital city has been grappling with water shortages for years now due to aged equipment, low water dam levels and shortage of foreign currency to import water purification chemicals.
The water shortages have resulted in frequent outbreaks of water-borne diseases in the city.