More water cuts are looming in Harare as the city is expected to carry out continuous shutdowns on the Morton Jaffray treatment plant to allow for the installation of new equipment from China. The city started pumping water yesterday after it completed the scheduled works carried out under the $144 million loan facility from the Chinese Export Import Bank.The city last week shut down its main water treatment plant to allow for the installation of valves at the trunk mains to the central business district and Lochnivar and repair leaks at the treatment plant and mains.
Last Friday, the city had advised residents that the complete shutdown of Morton Jaffray would last until yesterday, but Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni said more shutdowns are expected if the city is to be able to complete its maintenance work.
“Work is progressing well at Morton Jaffray, but a lot more still needs to be done. There will be more shutdowns as outlined in our communications to the residents. The teams will do all that is necessary to minimise the periods of water cuts,” he said.
The city’s acting corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said the replacement of old equipment with new ones was the reason behind the shutdowns.
“We completed the scheduled works and today (yesterday) zesa was doing maintenance work on the plant. During that period, we switched off the plant to give them access and we have, however, resumed pumping and the water supply situation will stabilise as the week progresses,” he said.
“From now on, we will do partial shutdowns to allow for the installation of new equipment. Most of the equipment from China is now here.” In 2013, council secured a $144 million loan from the Chinese Export Import Bank and has used part of the money to acquire equipment for the refurbishment of the 60-year-old plant.
As part of the on-going Harare Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Rehabilitation Programme meant to improve reliability of water supply, the city is also carrying out other routine maintenance works.
The plant produces 400 mega-litres of water per day, but it has the potential to produce 640 mega-litres. Harare needs at least 1 200 megalitres for every household to have water 24-7.