Home » General » ZIMBABWE TO SET UP NATIONAL AUTHORITY TO BUY WATER PURIFICATION CHEMICALS

HARARE, Dec 31 — The Zimbabwe government says it will establish a national authority charged with purchasing water purification chemicals on behalf of all local authorities in an effort to reduce the cost of water.

At present each local authority buys its own water purification chemicals, but because of the high costs of the chemicals some councils have been pumping unclean water to residents.

The City of Harare spends more than 3.0 million US dollars per month on nine water treatment chemicals but the quality of tap water is poor.

Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha said here Tuesday that water was a crucial component in industrial operations and in society hence the Cabinet had decided to make water more affordable.

“In order to reduce the costs related to water, Cabinet has agreed that in order to enjoy economies of scale, water treating chemicals should be bought in bulk by a single national authority on behalf of all local authorities and Zinwa (the Zimbabwe National Water Authority),” he said.

Bimha, who did not reveal when the authority would be in place, said the Cabinet had also agreed that fixed water charges imposed by local authorities should be reviewed downwards in line with levels charged in other countries in the southern Africa region.

The need to review downwards water charges was made after realization that the fixed water charge was being used as a means to raise revenue as opposed to it being an infrastructure maintenance charge.

Over the years, major cities in Zimbabwe including Harare, Bulawayo and Gweru, have been facing perennial water shortages which have been attributed to the increasing demand in the cities, poor water infrastructure and shortage of water treatment chemicals.

In 2008, Zimbabwe experienced its worst cholera outbreak which killed at least 4,000 people and infected 100,000 others.

SOURCE: NEW ZIANA

Archives