Ward 17 residents were this week left wondering if the City of Harare is sticking to its water rationing strategy after they got water in their taps for only 15 hours instead of two days as the per the water demand management.
The residents from Avondale, Avondale West and Strathaven demanded answers from the City of Harare over the relentless water crisis. Avondale West residents said it looked like the water supplies were not back to the normal routine as they usually get water for two days on Mondays and Tuesdays every week.
Strathaven residents said their taps ran dry after 1400 hours on Tuesday September 19 2023 while those in Aberdeen Road and at Bedford Gardens along Bedford Road in Avondale said the water just trickled in for two hours before taps became dry. Residents on Wakefield Road in Avondale did not get any water while their counterparts on Ceres Road in the same suburb had a trickle without pressure for about an hour.
The residents demanded explanations from Ward 17 Councillor Happymore Gotora on the purpose of the WhatsApp group established to give updates on service delivery issues such as water when the council workers in the group were not responding to residents’ inquiries.
The residents complained that the City of Harare is able to supply water to some parts of the city and offers no explanation to those left out.
“I was in Hatcliffe this morning they had water gushing out of their taps but we have this broken record of excuses and it’s supposed to be ok … the person who opened that trickle which distribution selection did he or she choose there or some people are more equal than others? Hatcliffe has water gushing out are they managed by a different council Cllr Gotora? The car wash that supplies us has rationed to buckets per person. We cross King George (Road) with buckets cars hooting and we have to fetch water from 5.30 till 6pm after its peak hour. Have you ever suffered humiliation of begging for water from people with boreholes?” said one resident.
Added the resident: “This is too much I am really frustrated, cars hoot at you King George is busy and cars don’t move at 20km per hour and everything is straight after voting, all terminology and explanations are on the dashboard. Hatcliffe has water can council not borrow chemicals and square each other?”
The residents also lamented the unequal treatment the City of Harare gives to its ratepayers.
“There is no equality and it’s bad, others will always be more equal. My complex has hot heads, borehole was sunk, but await the last dollar to be paid for a tap can be connected. The struggle is real, hiring water is out of the question for me I don’t have idle excess cash. Can a whole council stand up and address me Cllr Gotora? Prescribe for me how I should cope while a whole council with people waking up to go to work to open a trickle (of water). Who sent him to open a trickle in an area with duplex flats? Can he be added to explain how I should access water?” complained a resident who lives along Wakefield Road.
The residents expressed their frustration over the fact in Hatcliffe which has no single duplex flat or double storey, the water had more pressure while in their taps it was trickling or the taps were completely dry.
They said it was perhaps a sin for them to exercise their rights pointing out the trickle of water they were receiving for recording that everyone had been supplied water was annoying.
Our sister publication H-Metro reported that the water shortages in parts of Harare are due to the breakdown of a power transformer at Morton Jaffray. Harare acting spokesperson Mr Hope Chizuzu said the reduced output from Morton Jaffray was to blame for the lack of water.
He said the water plant also had a breakdown of two granula aluminium stirrers. Mr Chizuzu said council anticipates to reach 536 mega litres per day by the end of the year from the current output of between 390 mega litres and 410 mega litres per day.
“Morton Jaffray experienced a breakdown of two granula aluminium stirrers, leaving only one available and as a result, only a limited amount of liquid aluminium can be prepared negatively affecting water output,” he said.
This has affected water supplies to areas such as Avondale, Avondale West, Strathaven, Greendale, Mabvuku and Tafara. Residents from Waterfalls and Hatfield are also complaining over dry taps.