Harare water woes are set to ease as the government recently intervened allocating $42 million USD to the City Council for water treatment chemicals.
Part of the $42 million will be used to settle a $32 million debt owed to Chemplex Corporation which is the council’s major supplier of water treatment chemicals. the rest will be used to buy new pipes to reduce the prevalent water leaks. This is in addition to the $10 million that government gave to the council last week.
Retired Colonel Joseph Mhakayakakora acting permanent secretary for Public Works and National Housing said that paying off the massive debt to Chemplex Corporation will improve the water crisis because the company will be able to produce more chemicals reducing imports.
“Paying off the debt we are currently owing Chemplex will capacitate them so that they are able to produce chemicals for us”, said Mhakayakakora.
Harare City Council has resorted to reducing the number of water treatment chemicals from nine to four by testing chemicals to substitute chlorine compound which they have been using.
This will come as a relief to residents who have been in a desperate situation in recent weeks due to dry water taps. Some have been waking up as early as 2 am to get water from neighbours who have boreholes.
Treasury is working with financiers of the ongoing Kunzvi-Musami Dam construction estimated to cost US$ 680 million. The dam is expected to ease the Harare water crisis increasing water supply to the city and satellite towns.
Harare City Council’s monthly expenses which overshoot its monthly revenue has prompted the government to step in as its monthly collections range between 13 million and 20 million and spend 35 million on water treatment chemicals, 12 million on salaries.