‘Declare Harare’s water crisis a national disaster’

By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

 

Community Water Alliance (CWA), an organisation which advocates for improved water and sanitation in Harare is engaging with council so that the water crisis currently bedevilling the country is declared   a national disaster.

The city fathers early this year made a startling revelation that the capital city is left with 18 months supply of water due to the dwindling water levels due to siltation at Harare’s main water supplier Lake Chivero.  This has precipitated water rationing in a city where there has been  erratic water supplies.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Harare City Council that wrapped up a conference by the CWA  on the water crisis,programmes manager Hardlife Mudzingwa said following the water crisis Harare  is facing, the organisation wants to engage with the central government so that the crisis can be declared a national disaster.

“The water situation in Harare’s metropolitan province is dire and hence there is the need for us to engage with the city council so that it can be declared a national disaster so that resource can be put in place to avert   it,” declared Mudzingwa.

Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba acknowledged that the city council was hamstrung to continue to    supply safe and clean water hence it is reaching out to corporates to chip in   while working out on new water tariffs   in this prevailing  harsh economic conditions.

“We have gone out of our way to engage the   corporate to supplement the meagre resources   we have .

“There are also plans to review the water tariffs which the Town Clerk and his team are already working on,” cited Mayor  Gomba.

According to Harare City Town clerk,Engineer  Hosiah Chisango,the fuel prices hike has negatively affected their operations and hence there is the need for an urgent budget review.

“I have noticed that the fuel price increases is definitely one of the difficulties as for example where we had budgeted for $700 000 we now need $1,8 million so there is the need for budget review  so that we can be able to sustain our operations,” revealed Town Clerk Chisango.

The Community Water Alliance conference dubbed ‘United Stakeholders Working Towards Improved Water Delivery in Harare Metropolitan Province’ saw various stakeholders   resolving to find alternative sustainable financial models that will ensure constant safe water supply.

The organisations also asserted   that there is the need for research around water delivery issues, the introduction of proper water technologies and mobile water treatment plants.

Harare has been over the years experiencing water woes  which has been attributed to a various factors that include the ballooning population, poor water articulation systems and invasion of wetlands among many others.