Harare bearing fruit from China water rehabilitation loan

By Farai Dauramanzi

City of Harare has managed to increase water production at Morton Jaffray water works by 72 mega litres per day due to the on-going rehabilitation work at the plant. Morton Jaffray has got a capacity of producing 614 mega litres per day but has failed to do so in the past years due to obsolete equipment.

The rehabilitation of Harare’s water and sewer treatment plants which includes Morton Jaffray and Prince Edward water works commenced in 2013 and is set to run until 2016. The rehabilitation project is being financed through funding from the $144 million China Exim bank loan and the $9.5 million Zimfund Phase 1 grant.

A report on Harare’s water situation that was released by Harare Water Director Engineer Christopher Zvobgo on the 3rd of December 2014 showed progress in the water and sewer rehabilitation project. Water production at Morton Jaffray has been increased by 72 mega-litres per day bringing the plant’s total daily production to 400mega-litres per day.

The pumping availability at Morton Jaffray has also been increased by 2 pumps while the pump reliability at Prince Edward has been improved to 100% capacity. Eng Zvobgo’s report also pointed out that bulk flow measurement was now available at 100% while water dosing plant availability has been improved by 60%.

Water loses through leakages have been reduced by 50 mega litres from 140 mega litres per day thereby improving water mobility by 25%. City of Harare principal communications officer Michael Chideme said that these improvements have resulted in improved water supply to various areas such as Mabvuku/Tafara which now receives water four times a week from the previous two times per week.

“These areas have not been receiving water for a very long time but, now we are going to have a very sustainable distribution schedule which will allow these areas to receive water for at least four days a week. With more improvements taking place here (Morton Jaffray) we will be able to increase the number of days in which residents will be able to receive water,” said Chideme.

Water supply to Hatcliffe has also improved to two days a week from only four days a month. Greendale is also said to be now receiving water for two days a week with Budiriro and Dzivarasekwa’s water supply being improved to 24/7 except in some high areas.

During a council organised media tour to assess the water situation, some residents of Mabvuku and Tafara acknowledged receiving council water in the past week but, complained that the water was not yet clean enough to drink.

In the past, the water and sanitation rehabilitation project has been shrouded with controversy as councillors have accused municipal executives of abusing funds from the China Exim loan. However, investigations into the matter exempted council executives of any wrong doing.

Over the past years, Harare has struggled to provide residents with clean and safe water supplies and the rehabilitation of the water and sanitation facilities is expected to go a long way in easing water problems in the City.

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