By Joseph Madzimure and Blessings Chidakwa
THE water situation in Harare is set to improve following the delivery of 24 tonnes of a water treatment chemical — calcium hypochlorite, also known as HTH — which was stuck at the border.
City of Harare officials said the chemical had since been delivered to Morton Jaffray Waterworks.
Yesterday, Acting Secretary for Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Colonel (Retired) Joseph Mhakayakora said Government was now working on a lasting solution that would result in a constant supply of water treatment chemicals.
One of the solutions includes the use of locally-produced chemicals.
“Harare City Council first received two-and-a-half tonnes from a local supplier in Bulawayo a day after it switched off its water treatment plant. It has received an additional 24 tonnes of water treatment chemicals that will last for two weeks,” he said.
On modalities to ensure constant supplies, Rtd Col Mhakayakora said City of Harare used to get most of its chemicals from Zimphos, but the company was faced with a complex situation of manufacturing the chemicals due to debts, resulting in it failing to continue with supplies.
In a statement, Harare City Council said last week it had paid $500 000 to Zimphos, $1,2 million and $1 million to Chilmand and KITHRA, respectively, leaving it with a combined $50 million debt to the three companies.
City of Harare spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme told The Herald that they were expecting an equal amount of chemicals next week.
He also said residents should expect a steady improvement in water supplies.
“We are expecting an equal amount next week while we await delivery of the chlorine gas. The trucks are still held up at the border. We are relatively stable with other chemicals as well,” he said.
Mr Chideme added that they had started treating water at Morton Jaffray Waterworks with most households already receiving supplies following Government’s intervention.
The latest development comes after Government took over Morton Jaffray Waterworks to ensure residents accessed potable water after Vice President Kembo Mohadi facilitated the clearance of water treatment chemicals at the border while the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) and District Development Fund (DDF) chipped in with technical assistance.
Earlier this week, Harare City Council shut down the Morton Jaffray water treatment plant citing shortages of water treatment chemicals and low water levels in Lake Chivero.
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