Presidential Borehole Scheme comes to Harare
Brian Rungano Temba
Yesterday cabinet agreed on bringing a quick solution to the water supply problem in Harare while finding a long lasting solution to the City’s infrastructural, supply and technical problems.
Speaking at the first Post Cabinet Briefing, Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Hon Dr Jenfen Muswere told the press that the state of the water system in Harare was both damaged and aged, pointing to the fact that a low hanging deliverable was required to ensure bulk water supply in the city.
He said that, following reports by the Harare City Council on their failure to provide bulk water to the city, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development convened a meeting of the National Action Committee on Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
“The Committee found out that the main challenges affecting the City of Harare are as follows: heavy pollution of Water Supply Dams (Chivero and Manyame) leading to excessive use of water treatment chemicals; aged units constantly breaking down; aged water supply infrastructure leading to reduction in treatment capacity and high water losses; and failure by City of Harare to pay for water treatment chemicals to meet the current treatment capacity of 520 Megalitres per day,” added Hon. Dr Muswere.
“The nation is being informed that the Government is fully committed to resolving the Harare water challenges and that of all cities, rural and urban centres.
The Government, through the Presidential Rural Development Programme, has drilled 301 boreholes in the past year.
Furthermore, a rig has been dedicated to Harare Metropolitan Province and ZINWA will continue the borehole drilling programme, prioritizing suburbs which are not receiving water from the City of Harare,” said Hon. Dr Muswere.
During the 2023 Election Campaigns President Emerson Mnangagwa foreshadowed this intervention as he drilled boreholes in high density areas like Hatcliffe and at Robert Mugabe Square.
They come furnished with solar powered pumps, reserve tanks and tapes for easy access. The only difference is that the water doesn’t come to your homes like Council water should.
Another factor that the City of Harare over looks is that its capacity can not support the the ever growing population of Harare Metropolitan with lake Chivero alone. Under NDS1 the construction of Kunzvi Dam northeast of Harare, is a response to that problem as Council will tap into the dam’s reserves. However the Dam is still 37 percent complete, making borehole drilling the lowest hanging fruit.
Many oppositional echo chambers have parroting their displeasure with boreholes as synonymous with rural areas, but almost all low density suburbs in Harare have gone Borehole for their domestic water supply.
Council treated water is then used for laundry and watering their lawns.