Blame game will not solve Harare’s water woes – Mayor

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By Anna Chibamu

HARARE’s decades old water problems, will not be resolved through inter-stakeholder counter-blaming, the capital’s Mayor Herbert Gomba has said.

Gomba told in an interview Friday, that central government in particular, needed to face reality rather than “bury its head in the sand” in order to find a lasting solution to the crisis that has dogged the City for years now.

The opposition MDC councilllor, was responding to Ministry of Information permanent secretary, Nick Mangwana, who took to social media early this week to criticise the local authority for its ineptitude in resolving the water crisis.

Mangwana launched an unrestrained attack on council using his Twitter handle: “Harare water situation is intolerable. Council is nursing potential health crisis. We cannot have all offices and amp: houses without running water.

“Overall water demand is 1400 megalitres. Of that demand, @cohsunshinecity is giving all consumers a measly 80 megalitres or 5.7%. Very poor!”

However, Gomba accusing government of not providing enough foreign currency to buy the much needed chemicals.

“Harare water is running low due external factors affecting our ability to pump more.All we need is support in acquiring foreign currency from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and more importantly government must finish the construction of Kunzvi, Musami and Muda dams.

“These facilities are owned by central government and it’s prudent that Cde Mangwana looks at ways to complete their construction. These are facts on the ground and no matter how Mr Mangwana will try to ignore them, the truth is they must be attended to,” Gomba said.

“Lastly our council is doing everything possible, to provide solutions to the crisis in the context of what is within our means. We will involve ourselves in a diversionary blame game as seen by this tweet.”

Government this week released US$150 000 after reports emerged the City had been left with two days’ supply of water treatment chemicals amid fears of another disease outbreak.

In the past 10 years, Harare has struggled with a series of water-borne disease outbreaks that have killed thousands epitomized by the 2008 cholera outbreak that claimed the lives of more than 4000 people.

Since then typhoid and cholera have wreaked havoc in the capital.