|Water supply situation starts improving|
|Monday, 16 May 2011 21:31|
Water supplies to eastern, northern and western suburbs and vast swathes of Chitungwiza were cut last week when the 1,5-metre main pipeline carrying water from Warren Control to the Letombo Reservoir and pump station sprang a serious leak in Southerton.
Council announced last week that it had encountered wa-ter delivery problems following a major burst on water mains along Willowvale Road near Southerton Police Station.
A major leak last year on the same pipeline, that kept the eastern suburbs dry for weeks, was eventually traced tha-nks to a vagrant who told council staff that they had a pro-blem.
Residents in the affected areas had to rely on dugout wells and neighbours with boreholes.
Acting Harare Water director Engineer Simon Muserere yesterday confirmed that the city's water supply was back on track.
He said Chikurubi, which has not had water for the past three weeks, will get water today while areas fed by the Highlands and Philadelphia reservoirs will also get water today.
The CBD will, however, continue to have water since it is fed from other lines.
He said aged water pipes constantly burst, causing shortages.
Meanwhile, the Kariba flood gates were opened again over the weekend for the second time this year to allow excess water to flow downstream and help keep the level of water in the storage dam at the required level of below 488,50m above sea level.
The opening was done as the Zambezi River Authority, the company given the right to take care of the dam, says it is expecting more water from upper Zambezi River that is expected to reach the dam later this month.
The floodgates were opened in mid January this year to allow excess water drift downstream, but were closed after 27 days during which four gates were open at full capacity.
This is despite the fact that parts of Zimbabwe and Zambia received low rainfall in the second half of the season.
"We are releasing this water to make way for the water that is heading for Lake Kariba in the next few weeks. The level of water was 487.45m and with more inflows still expected, we decided to open gate number 6. The gate is only 25 percent open as we fear to submerge construction work at the expansion of the power generation machines on the Zambian side.
"We intend to open the gate to about 50 percent as the week progresses after the engineers working at the power expansion programme at the Zambia side have removed their equipment from the workplace."