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Harare Secures $144 Million to Tackle Water Woes

  • Irwin  Chifera

Harare water pipe replacement underway in most parts of the city

Harare water pipe replacement underway in most parts of the city

Water woes in Harare may soon be a thing of the past as the former sunshine city expects to receive within the next two weeks a $144 million loan from China to rehabilitate its ageing water treatment and distribution network.

Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi told parliament’s Local Government Committee Tuesday that the city secured the funds from Chinese Export and Import Bank.

Mr. Mahachi said the loan will be used for the comprehensive rehabilitation of the city’s water treatment works, ending its perennial water woes.

Rehabilitation projects, which begin next month, will take three years to complete, said Mahachi.

The town clerk said the loan, with a 3 percent interest rate, will be paid from water revenues.

Mr. Mahachi said Harare will spend $2 million installing smart water meters in the city’s 500,000 households to increase revenue collection.

The city currently collects about $4 million in water revenue of which $2.5 million is used at the water treatment works. About $1 million pays for electricity and the remainder covers other operational costs, the town clerk said.

Mr. Mahachi said the city is not currently pumping adequate water to cater for all the residents, adding even the rehabilitation of Harare’s Water Works will not bring water shortages to an end.

He said the city’s water woes can only be resolved by the construction of Kunzvi and Musami dams. The town clerk added he was not sure when construction of the two would begin.

Local Government Permanent Secretary, Killian Mpingo, echoed the same sentiments saying Harare’s perennial water woes can only end with the construction of the two dams.

Meanwhile, parliament Tuesday sat for only 15 minutes as government failed to bring amendments to the Electoral Act for discussion and adoption as directed by SADC leaders at their summit last Saturday in Maputo, Mozambique.

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga told the House of Assembly political party representatives in the government of national unity are meeting to discuss the issue.

He said they will get directions from the principals on the matter Wednesday.