Harare water woes: Treasury releases $37.4 million

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By Anna Chibamu

CENTRAL government has moved in to avert a disaster as Harare struggles with water provision raising the possibility of another cholera outbreak.

In the past few weeks authorities in the capital have implored government to declare Harare’s water situation a “state of disaster” arguing this would help them mobilise resources.

In a statement Thursday Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said Treasury had released $37.4 million towards water sanitation in Harare.

The grant according to Ncube will go towards rehabilitation of Morton Jeffrey filters, clarifiers, installment of household meters.

Some of the money will be directed towards the repair of burst pipes as well as upgrading of sewer mains in Glen View and Budiriro, areas that have become notorious for waterborne diseases out-breaks in the past 10 years.

“City of Harare is facing a number of challenges which have resulted in failure to resolve the water and sanitation under-provision within the city. This has resulted to the decline in health status of residents.

“The challenges include absence of the billing system, hence, poor collection rates as well as reduced capacity to implement programmes to enhance service delivery,” the Treasury chief said..

Added Ncube: “To ameliorate the situation, central government has now intervened by releasing $37.4 million from Treasury including foreign currency  towards intervention that will improve water access and waste water treatment in short term.”

Meanwhile, the ministry says it is developing a long term solution that includes putting in place an implementation team comprising of government, City of Harare and other experts.