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Health time bomb as Harare is hit by water chemical shortages

HARARE – The City of Harare is faced with water shortages in the next few days owing to non-availability of water treatment chemicals.

Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba recently revealed the city authorities had reduced water production due to lack of the foreign currency shortages that was needed to procure chemicals.

“The situation is that we have reduced pumping and precisely because we have not been able to access the required foreign currency for us to be able to purify our water” the mayor said

Gomba said they were engaged with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) over the allocation of foreign currency with sources saying the RBZ only availed a paltry US$150 000 against US$3 million required a month.

“We require US$3 million a month to secure 9 chemicals for use of that particular month and our resident are paying using RTGs and to procure we chemicals we require hard currency,” Gomba said.

Hardlife Mudzingwa founder and director of Community Water Alliance said the disbursement of US$150 000 by the RBZ meant low volumes of water were treated.

“The City requires US$3 million per month to ensure adequate treatment, so the disbursement that was done last night by the RBZ Governor was a paltry US$150 000. What it means is that they have one option which is to continue to treat below 100 mega litres which is quite very low when it comes to what is required on a daily basis to cover some of the critical suburbs in the metropolitan” said Mudzingwa

Mudzingwa said of the 100 mega litres produced only 50% was reaching the citizens and pointing to diseases

“They require 800 to 1200 mega litres a day and it is important to note that the 100 mega litres produced per day are 35% inclusive of leakages which means the citizens are getting 50 mega litres. It is pointing to unsafe water. The ultimate result is cholera and typhoid which will be affecting our people,” he said.

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