Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
Harare City Council is finalising a $179 million loan facility with a Chinese Company — China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) – to fund the rehabilitation of water infrastructure and to install smart water meters. This comes as Harare has also entered into a loan agreement of $144 million with China’s Exim Bank to refurbish water infrastructure.

The CCCC loan facility will see the installation of 262 000 smart meters, rehabilitation of two water pump stations and security installations on 28 reservoirs.

The proposed water project is expected to reduce physical water losses by 72 million litres per day, increasing supply coverage to 72 000 households. The proposed loan facility comes at a time Harare has cut down on water production to 450 mega litres per day from 550 mega-litres.

This has been exacerbated by Lake Chivero water that has become highly polluted and too expensive to treat. The city requires at least 1 200 mega-litres of water daily but due to financial and infrastructural resource constraints, this has not been realised, with the latest developments seeing suburbs such as Borrowdale, Hatcliffe, Mabvuku and Tafara being the worst affected.

According to recent environmental management committee minutes, the project will also reduce non- revenue water by 25 percent, thus increasing revenue by about $21.6 million per annum.

The committee tasked acting town clerk, Mrs Josephine Ncube, to finalise agreements for the loan to enable the rolling out of the projects in January 2016.

“Council approves the project that entails part water distribution network replacement/ rehabilitation, metering, construction of two pump stations and rehabilitation and installation of security systems at water reservoirs at an estimated cost of $178 131 516,” reads the minutes.

The committee noted that the loan would be serviced by revenue realized by the city as it expected to collect $22 million yearly due to the reduction of water losses.

Harare water director, Engineer Christopher Zvobgo, revealed that the loan would assist in the improvement of water supplies.

He said; “City of Harare distribution network comprised about 5 500 km of pipe network, which linked the water treatment plants with 15 booster pump stations, 28 reservoir sites and about 200 000 customer connection points.”

“The project entailed replacement of 260km of water mains, 54km transmission mains and 208 distribution mains, supply and installation of 262 000 smart meters rehabilitation of two water pump stations and security installations of 28 reservoirs.”

Harare’s water and infrastructure requires urgent attention to improve service delivery.

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