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Harare water crisis persists

HARARE residents have expressed disgruntlement over erratic water supplies to their homes despite paying their rates to the local authority.


Many suburbs in the capital are still facing water shortages, with residents going for up to a week with dry taps, exposing them to water-borne diseases.

Among the most affected suburbs are Warren Park, Chadcombe, Hatfield, Mabvuku and Budiriro.

Some residents in Mabvuku said running water had become very scarce and most of them have been forced to resort to other sources of water.
“The situation is not getting better; we are still largely relying on boreholes built by United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) for water to use in our homes,” said Lenah Musthiya of Mabvuku.

Warren Park resident, Tamuka Bvumbwe said the suburb has also not been getting running water for several days.

“In many households here our taps are dry from Friday up to Monday morning,” he said.

The shortage of running water in the residential areas is making life difficult for many people.

Oscar Kanyati from Cranborne said some residents were walking long distances to other suburbs to fetch water mostly from boreholes.
“I live in Cranborne and I walk to fetch water at a borehole in St Martins [along the Chitungwiza road]. We are charged US$5 a month by those who own the borehole,” said Kanyati. “One needs to produce a receipt so that they are allowed to get water.”

Harare mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni last week said problems could persist because water projects were yet to be completed.

“We are not in a position to promise the public any immediate solution,” he said. “Water projects are underway and we have medium to long-term solutions to the crisis.”

Manyenyeni said he had attended meetings with World Bank officials aimed at getting technical assistance to help alleviate the water problem in the city.

Harare Residents Trust (HRT) committees’ officer, Pretty Chabuda said water problems were likely to last for a long time.

“The City of Harare is not doing much to improve the situation but rather is waiting for the completion of the Morton Jaffray water works,” she said.

She urged residents in the short-term to practise rainwater harvesting.

“Residents should also exercise social responsibility by maintaining the few boreholes in their areas,” she said.

Harare City Council late last year secured a US$3 million loan from China’s Export and Import bank to help address the water problem.

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