THE wanton destruction of wetlands has been blamed for the depleting levels of water in some of the capital city’s water sources.
Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter
This week, the City of Harare announced that it had reduced the number of days of treating water at its Prince Edward Water Works due to a depletion of raw water in Seke Dam and Harava Dam.
“Council scales down water production at Prince Edward, water treatment at Prince Edward reduced from 7 to 3 days. Production will be 60 million litres per day during the three-day production period.
Reduction follows depletion of raw water resources at Seke (empty) and Harava Dams (35.9 percent). Harava Dam can only last six weeks. Production levels to be reviewed when it rains,” the City of Harare said in its statement to residents and stakeholders.
Ironically, council installed new equipment at Prince Edward Water Treatment Plant in 2016 but the plant will now not be in full use because of the drying up dams. Residents said the depleting water levels in the city’s water sources were due to the continued destruction of wetlands in Harare.
The Zimbabwe Combined Residents and Ratepayers Association (ZICORRA) said it was clear the depleting water levels in Harare’s dams were due to the damage and destruction of wetlands.
The residents’ representative body urged relevant authorities to seriously look into the issue of the numerous developments taking place on the city’s wetlands.
In an interview on Wednesday, ZICORRA provincial chairperson for Harare Mr Lawrence Kuleya said the reduction of water production at Prince Edward Waterworks was a sad development for residents. He further said that the reasons being given by the municipality including the depleting of water levels in Harare’s water sources, was a result of the incessant abuse of the city’s wetlands dotted across the capital’s suburbs.
“No one creates water but water comes from wetlands. It is wetlands that supply water to these dams. So, the city of Harare must seriously look into this wetland issue and work together with the relevant stakeholders to preserve wetland areas and stop all developments on wetlands. Another important issue to look at is the population of Harare against the available infrastructure and water sources. Harare is overpopulated. The water sources and infrastructure weren’t designed to cater for the population they are now catering for,” said Mr Kuleya.
The residents’ representative body’s official went on to encourage authorities to upgrade the infrastructure in and outside Harare so that people can move out of Harare but can still be doing their business in the city. He said this was one way of lessening the burden on Harare’s crumbling infrastructure which is currently old and needs replacement.
“It’s high time upgrading of all infrastructure is done to cope with the current population and cheaper, faster transport infrastructure is put up. That can enable people to reside outside Harare but be able to travel in and out (of the city) daily for their daily business. This will prevent everyone wanting to reside in Harare therefore lessening the burden on Harare’s aged and overburdened infrastructure including lessening the burden on Harare’s water sources.”