Harare City on Monday its Morton Jeffery water treatment plant on the back of chemical shortages.
This comes barely a week after the Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube availed about $3, 1 million USD to the City to help it improve service delivery.
But Acting Mayor Cllr Enock Mupamawonde urged Government to declare the water crisis an emergency.
Cllr Mupamwonde was speaking at a Policy Dialogue Forum organised by the Community Water Alliance.
“We have called on government to declare the water situation in the city an emergency because the situation has become desperate. We think the declaration will enable donors and the international community to reign in resources so as to salvage the situation,“ he said.
“Our water demand stands at around 1200 million litres a day against a combined design capacity of not more than 710 million liters a day at Morton Jaffray’s waterworks.”
Giving a status update on the chemicals, the Mayor explained,
“SOME suppliers of water treatment chemicals were paid last week but are yet to make deliveries.
The companies are paid first and then source the required products.
The companies use the ZWL component to buy forex from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe at the prevailing interbank rate.
“Last Wednesday ZIMPHOS was paid ZWL500 000 while Chilmand was paid ZWL1.2 million and KITHRA ZWL1million.
These companies are owed over ZWL 50 million for previously deliveries.
The interbank exchange rate at which the city buys forex is affecting service delivery because when the citu sells the water toresidents it does not rate its costs for onward transfer to residents.
“For example its costs over ZWL 15.00 to treat one cubic meter of water but the city sells the same amount for ZWL 0.80c .
Council requires Government approval to adjust the cost of water to residents.
THE MONEY PROMISED BY GVNT IS YET TO BE RECEIVED BY THE COUNCIL.”