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Govt must teach public to pay for water, says Harare City Coucil acting town clerk

29/05/2017 00:00:00
by Manicaland Correspondent
 
 
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CENTRAL government should push the public to accept that water is a commodity which should be paid for as most still regard it as freebie, acting Harare Town Clerk has said.

Josephine Ncube said this while making a contribution during a World Bank sponsored workshop titled Service Level Benchmarking (SLB) programme which was held in Mutare recently.

The workshop was attended by town clerks and two other focal persons from all the country’s 32 urban councils.

The programme is aimed at improving service delivery by urban councils in Zimbabwe. Among other issues discussed were urban water supply and waste management.

“We have politics of the water. There is no push from the central government to ensure that people see water as commercial commodity. Most people still think water from the council is for free. They don’t want to pay,” said Ncube.

She said there was misinterpretation of the law with regards to the provision of water to public.

“Another impediment on the management of water by councils is legal field where there is a lot of interpretation and misinterpretation on what the constitution says about water. On the other hand the court is saying provide people with water,” she said.

Ncube said for the past two years, city of Harare has been running programmes to deal with issue of non-revenue water, adding that another challenge was capital funding.

“We need capital funding especially to deal with physical losses. There should be affordable and subsistence capital to implement such programmes,” said Ncube.

Professor Innocent Nhapi, a consultant from the World Bank, had earlier on, during his presentation, said councils should strive to reduce non-revenue water by 15-20 percent as water was a potential cash cow.

“Councils should account for every water they process and should strive reduce losses as water is a cash cow”, said Nhapi.

He said councils should deal with unauthorized consumption, metering inaccuracy, leakages in transmission and distribution.

He said the issue of non-revenue water is rising in the country due to aging water pipes which he said should be dug out.

Nhapi said most local authorities were failing to supply water to residents for 24 hours and this should be solved as they were losing out revenue due to non-supply and connections to new customers.



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