Government is to disburse 72.3 million to local authorities countrywide for urgent water and sewer services interventions. The funds are to be channeled towards water production, sewer rehabilitation and water supply

Last week government released 37.4 million to the City of Harare in a move aimed at improving the water availability in the capital city. In a statement, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, said they realised other local authorities are in the same predicament, based on their submissions, as Harare City Council and also need assistance in their localities.

A total of 16 Councils are set to receive the fund including Bulawayo, Chitungwiza, Bindura, Gweru, Epworth, Kadoma, Plumtree, Chipinge, Mvurwi, Mutare and Rusape.

Treasury noted that lack of investment by councils towards maintenance and rehabilitation of infrastructure has resulted in high water losses along the distribution networks with some local authorities such as Harare, Chitungwiza and Mutare having losses above 60 percent.

Furthermore, most councils are owed huge sums of money by residents resulting in them failing to access water treatment chemicals.

Water, waste disposal and sewer services have become a perennial problem in most cities and towns around the country, putting at risk the lives of residents and making them prone to water borne diseases.

Harare city council this week shut down its water treatment plant, Morton Jaffray citing incapacitation to run the plant. Government then took over Morton Jaffray Waterworks to ensure residents access potable water after Acting 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.

Pumping of water at Morton Jaffray resumed following Government’s intervention, with Acting Harare Mayor Councillor Enock Mupamawonde also announcing that the city had secured seven days’ supply of water treatment chemicals from a local company.