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Zimbabwe: Dry Weekend for Harare

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All suburbs in Harare will have dry taps this weekend as the local authority has completely shut down its main water treatment plant, Morton Jaffray, to install a new pump and carry out routine maintenance.

The council has been shutting down the water treatment plant over the past years for various reasons, including routine maintenance, but that has failed to translate into increased water supplies to suburbs.

A notice to residents yesterday said; “The Harare City Council would like to notify residents and stakeholders that there will be a shutdown at Morton Jaffray and Warren Control Waterworks scheduled from 4pm on Friday 18 December up to Sunday 20 December 2020,” it said.

“The shutdown is to enable our contractors to install new water pumps. The department will also be taking advantage of this critical shutdown to undertake other critical outstanding maintenance works.”

Residents have been urged to use available water sparingly during the period.

The Harare City Council said the successful completion of the works will reduce physical water losses obtaining at the moment.

But residents turned to Harare’s Facebook page and slammed the city for the endless water woes.

Edmore Chitumba said: “That was long overdue besides tagara tisina mvura (we already don’t have water) for long ibvai magadzira (also repair the) bust pipe at Corner Kirkman (now Solomon Mujuru Drive) and Harare Drive.”

Mtahwa Tee George said for some residents, shutting down the water works or not, they will still not have water.

Hannah McCormick said: “We haven’t been getting water regularly, so I doubt we’ll even notice the difference.”

The Harare City Council has often been accused of failing to deliver portable water to residents for many years, resulting in some resorting to other sources that are not safe.

The city got a US$144 million from a Chinese bank in the last few years to specifically fix the water supply situation, but accusations of corruption in handling the funds emerged and ultimately nothing was achieved.

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