Govt urged to assist local authorities on water supply
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Government has been urged to assist local authorities to revamp their water treatment plants and reticulation systems following observations by the Auditor General, Mrs Mildred Chiri in her reports between 2019 and 2021 that they were losing up to 50 percent of treated water due to obsolete infrastructure.
This was said by the chairperson of the sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee responsible for local authorities, Cde Dexter Nduna while raising a point of national interest in the National Assembly on Thursday.
He said the sub-committee’s investigations had shown that local authorities needed Government assistance.
Failure to provide water, among other services, has been blamed on mismanagement and corruption at most urban local authorities.
“I make a clarion call that if it pleases you if we can get the ministers of local government and that of finance to come to this House and outline how they are going to mitigate the issue of the deficit of water.
“According to the Auditor-General’s Report, more than 50 percent of water is none revenue water and there is less than 20 percent water provision in local authorities where there is a deficit in terms of water treatment at the treatment plants,” he said.
Cde Nduna said an example was Chegutu which was only treating 10 mega litres per day against a demand of 22 mega litres.
“Where I come from, there is supposed to be 22 mega litres that are supposed to be consumed but there are less than 10 mega litres that are treated. What then gets to the end user is three mega litres because of a disused and deplorable state of the infrastructure. This is quite urgent, just and right for the people to get clean and potable drinking water through the rejuvenation and rehabilitation of and augmentation of our water treatment plants,” he added.
The shortage of safe drinking water has resulted in outbreaks of waterborne diseases like Cholera and Typhoid in the past.
Government has already started drilling solar-powered boreholes in some residential areas across the country following the failure of local authorities to provide residents with safe potable water.