The Sunday Mail
Waking up at the crack of dawn to beat water queues at a borehole almost 2km away had become a lifestyle for Mrs Musati and her family. The family settled in Kuwadzana 4 13 years ago and since then, water from the tap was a luxury they used to envy from other residents in some parts of the neighbourhood.
“We would go to the borehole with 10 x 20 litre buckets around 3am. It was scary but there was no alternative. We are a family of seven and needed that amount of water for our domestic use,” said a mother of five.
Old, broken and corroded water distribution pipe, which would regularly burst, coupled with the fact that her house is located on a higher ground, were some of the reasons why Mrs Musati and her family could not get consistent water supply. The few times that water was available, it had low pressure.
Harare’s water transmission and distribution network is old, with some pipes now aged over 60 years and no longer able to support the required volume and pressure.
The city is in need of funds to replace and upgrade the pipes, a move that will see a reduction in non-revenue water that currently stands at approximately 60 percent.
To help the City of Harare to improve its water distribution system, ZimFund Urgent Water Supply and Sanitation Rehabilitation Project Phase II (UWSSRP II) replaced 37km of critical pipelines in the water distribution system to reduce physical losses in it.
This was also meant to ensure that the water stressed and high density communities of Harare secure reliable supply.
The pipeline replacement took place in various critical sections of Harare such as Central Business District, Graniteside, Avenues, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals area, Mbare, Willowvale, Sunningdale, Workington, Strathaven, Eastlea, Kuwadzana, Avondale, Southerton, Braeside, Belgravia, Milton Park and Monavale.
The project also rehabilitated 11 water pump stations in the capital city to ensure reliable and equitable distribution of treated water from Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant.
The water pump stations are: Kuwadzana, Avondale, Emerald Hill, New Alexandra Park, Orange Grove, Crowhill, Philadelphia, Greendale Tower, Pockets Hill, Bluffhill and that at Donnybrook Tower, which supplies water to Mabvuku, where residents have not received reliable water supply for decades.
Rehabilitation of water supply pumping stations is still ongoing and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019. The intervention will impact nearly half a million people.
Pipe replacements exercise was completed last year bringing joy to residents such as Mrs Musati. In Kuwadzana area, a length of 694 metres of 150mm diameter pipe was installed from Kuwadzana Pump Station to Kuwadzana 2 Shopping centre replacing a more than 30-year-old, corroded and broken pipeline.
“Since August last year we have been getting water daily and it has enough pressure. I am a vendor and many times I sell fruits, now I can tell my customers to wash their fruits under running water to avoid Cholera because water is available.
Also, maintaining hygienic surroundings is really up to us now because we have enough water which is central to hygiene,” said the 36-year-old mother.
Harare Water’s Kuwadzana District officials also stated that since the completion of pipe replacement exercise last year, they have not had any cases of pipe bursts.
Before the intervention, two days would barely pass by without residents from sections 1 to 4 coming to their offices to complain about lack of water.
ZimFund is a US$145 million water and sanitation and energy programme, which was established in 2010 after the 2008 cholera outbreak.
Its donors include Australia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ZimFund is managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) as part of its operations to improve quality of life in Zimbabwe. The African Development Bank supports other sectors in Zimbabwe including agriculture, transport, social, private, financial and energy.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of ZimFund donors, the African Development Bank, its board of directors or the countries they represent. For feedback and more information kindly contact: ZimFund Communications: [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected]