By Sydney Gokomere
Gweru, October 07, 2016 – GWERU City Council has missed its water revenue targets for this year by a massive 40 percent after the struggling authority found itself failing to pump water to households due to its ageing pumps.
This came out during ongoing budget consultations by city officials.
In its 2016 budget, the local authority had planned to collect $13 606 970 through water bills but only managed $8 111 842.
This also represents 29 percent of the city’s total budget.
“Water sales also lag behind the budgeted income due to suppressed pumping capacity. We experienced some breakdowns of our pumps and this has compromised water delivery to the residents,” acting town clerk, Edgar Mwedzi said.
According to reports, council has been using pumps which are three decades old compromising on its capacity to pump water to residents.
In the 2017 budget, council expects to get $13 154 610 from water sales, which is 32% of the total budget.
Recently council revealed that 23 000 households were using water for free with 15 000 households operating on malfunctioning water meters while 8 000 houses had no meters at all.
The local authority also revealed that in the past decade, they were using estimates to bill businesses in the Central Business District where 350 water meters are buried underground.
The dysfunctional water meters could have seen council losing thousands of dollars on a monthly basis due to a poor billing system.