Harare City Council under fire for persistent water challenges

By John Nhandara

THE Harare City Council has come under fire for its continuous failure to adequately address the current water challenges, amid indications that the local authority is sitting on a ballooning debt for water treatment chemicals.

Local authorities have been compelled to acquire water treatment chemicals that are locally available from local manufactures in the country instead of importing thus cutting on the country’s import bill.

Harare Metropolitan Province Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Mr Tafadzwa Muguti has fumed over local authorities, in particular Harare City Council, over its failure to address the current water challenges yet some of the water treatment chemicals are locally available.

Mr Muguti warned local authorities who will import water chemicals without cabinet approval of severe consequences.

“We have companies such as Zimphos and Chemplex who are producing some of the water treatment chemicals we need. The challenge we have is local authorities who are not paying, in particular The City of Harare and the debt has ballooned to US$1,3 million. We will not allow any importation of water chemicals which are readily available in this country,” he said.

While commissioning a fertiliser blending plant at Zimbabwe Phosphate Industries in Harare this Monday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Government will support efforts to increase the capacity of producing water treatment chemicals locally.

“I have been informed that we have the basis of producing water chemicals in this country. And this Government is going to support wholeheartedly. I give a warning to those that are still importing water chemicals from abroad that, that line is soon coming to an end for we should be able to produce enough chemicals to treat our water,” noted the President.

Most high density suburbs in Harare have gone for weeks without running water on their taps, with the Harare City Council citing lack of water treatment chemicals as one of their excuses.