By Daniel Chigundu
Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni has urged the government to put on hold construction of the new Parliament of Zimbabwe and instead channel the funds towards Kunzvi Dam.
Kunzvi Dam has widely been designated as the solution to the current water crisis bedevilling the City of Harare.
The new Parliament building in Mount Hampden is expected to cost over US$1billion while Kunzvi Dam requires about US$650 million.
Addressing the media, Councillor Manyenyeni said there was no need to for the new Parliament building adding that if anything the number of legislators must be trimmed.
“ New Parliament building needs US$1billion so you must be more circumspect in your demands, Kunzvi Dam requires about US$650 million, we don’t need a new Parliament, in fact, we need to shift the size of Parliament.
“So you need to widen and escalate your conversations to matters that affect you on a wide futuristic scale,” he said.
Councillor Manyenyeni added that Harare has an infrastructure deficit dating to about 30 years ago and that the situation is made worse as the city also serve satellite communities such as Chitungwiza, Ruwa and Norton.
He said the current challenges being experienced are a result of expansions which were ignored in the past three decades.
“So the capacity challenges we are facing in 2017 are results of expansion not done in 1980, 1990, 2000 etc.
“The solutions sadly can never be instant-they are long-term and generally require new water supply sources like Kunzvi Dam which generally has been on the cards for decades.
“We also suffer from the issue of having to pollute our raw water upstream then harvest it downstream when its quality is at its poorest. We are probably the city which requires the most number of chemicals to treat its water. We need 7 chemicals when other councils can get quality water with just two chemicals,” he said.
Meanwhile, Councillor Manyenyeni has attributed the current poor quality of water that the city is supplying for consumption in Harare to the shortage of chemicals.
“Our claims that the water is chemically safe to drink will not hold if the residents cannot stand the sight of frothing or foaming coloured water.
“This has been caused by the shortage of our main chemicals Aluminium Sulphate, Sulphuric Acid, HTC Chlorine and Activated Carbon. Almost all our chemicals are imported and we have been caught in the crisis of forex.
“We are putting more demands for priority with Central Bank. We have also requested the Ministry to push for that priority allocation,” he said.
Speaking at the same occasion Hardlife Mudzingwa from Community Water Alliance said there was a need to address bad raw water quality as it was the main culprit to the current water problems.