By Nyasha N Mukapiko
City of Harare (CoH) has failed to meet the deadline for the refurbishment of the Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant, the Firle, Clear Water Pumping – station and Crowborough Waste Water Treatment plant, Acting Finance Committee chairperson Councillor Luckson Mukunguma revealed last week while presenting the 2017 budget proposal.
Harare residents are facing severe water problems, many residents has since resorted to borehole water for drinking as the little rationed tap water is regarded as unsafe to drink.
The refurbishment of the aforementioned treatment plants and pump-stations was a three year project which started in 2013 and was supposed to have ended in June 2016 this year.
Acting finance chairperson Mukunguma attributed the failure to late disbursement of the remainder of the US$144million loan that was acquired from the Chinese Exim-Bank.
“There has been a glitch in the disbursement of the remaining US$72.2milllion by the Export and Import bank of China, but I can advise that Ministry of Finance has taken up the matter with the Exim-bank of China and we fervently hope that further disbursement will come our way in not so distant future” Mukunguma highlighted.
Mukunguma further stated that the refurbishment of Morton Jaffray Water Works was 90% complete and CoH would shift its attention to pipe replacement programmes in order to mitigate losses emanating from leakages.
Upon completion of the rehabilitation of Morton Jaffray, water supply is expected to rise from 400 to 650 against a requirement of 800 mega-litres per/day.
City of Harare currently requires US$3million per month to buy chemicals for water treatment; however 60% of the treated water is being lost through pipe burst due to the ageing piping system.
In the 2016 budget of City of Harare allocated US$63million for the augmentation of portable water higher than the proposed US$50.9million cited in the 2017 budget.
Mukunguma said the proposed allocation of $US50.9million would see the completion of Morton Jaffray, Firle, Crowborough Wastewater Treatment Plant and other projects in 2017.
Water tariffs and charges remain unchanged in all sectors according to the 2017 budget proposal.
Harare’s proposed revenue budget is standing at US$345.7million, slightly higher compared to the current budget of US$343.9million with the huge chunk of its funding going to come from Harare Water which have a total of US$133.7million.