Vivian Mugarisi Herald Reporter
RESIDENTS are calling on the Harare City Council to distribute water fairly since some suburbs get little or nothing, while in others water flows from the taps every day. The city centre and inner ring of suburbs tend to have the best supplies. Suburbs to the east and north frequently go for days, or even weeks, without water, while the south-western suburbs of Glen Norah, Glen View, Budiriro, Highfield and Warren Park being at the end of their delivery mains, are often short and in recent weeks have been very short.
“We believe this (unequal distribution of water) is not fair because if we are affected it means everyone should also suffer the same fate,” said Mrs Beauty Chiota of Budiriro.
“We are now entering the second week without water and we wonder if the council is sensitive to our plight at all. Everyone should bear the brunt of water rationing.”
Ms Ropafadzo Magumise of Glen View also complained about the breakdown of boreholes in her area something which was worsening the water situation.
“There is no maintenance being done to keep the boreholes functional,” she said.
“Most of them are down and it means we have to queue at the few functioning ones. We are having to queue for water long hours and we are spending most of our productive time looking for water.”
Another resident, who identified himself only as Deke from Glen View said the water situation was exposing residents to health hazards.
“We are getting drinking water from unprotected wells and some people do not boil or treat the water exposing themselves to diarrhoeal diseases,” he said. “At least if we were cut off for a day it would be fine than to go for weeks without water. It will not be surprising if people die from cholera because of the water crisis.”
Lack of water was also affecting service provision in the area.
A medical doctor who runs a surgery in Budiriro said water shortages were impacting negatively on her job.
“We deal with sick people and we cannot do without water,” she said. “I wish we could have a regular clean water supply because everything we do requires clean water.”
Harare City Council secured US$144 million from China’s Import and Export Bank for the rehabilitation of sewer and water reticulation systems.
The revamping of the treatment plant is expected to boost water production and ease water shortages in the city.
Council is impressed with the progress made so far to upgrade the city’s water system and is looking for other projects to augment the city’s water supplies, Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni has said.
Speaking after his first official tour of Morton Jaffray recently where Chinese engineers from the China Machinery Engineering Company and their local counterparts are carrying out the work, Clr Manyenyeni said he was impressed by the dedication shown by the two parties.