LOCAL authorities are battling to procure water purification chemicals as local suppliers are demanding payment in foreign currency, Urban Councils’ Association of Zimbabwe president Josiah Makombe has revealed.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE/STEPHEN CHADENGA
The revelation comes after Harare City Council said it had run out of water purification chemicals and was reducing the volume of water supplied to residents.
“Local authorities have been facing a challenge in sourcing water treatment chemicals because suppliers are charging in foreign currency, yet councils do not have that kind of money,” Makombe said.
“What it entails is that because local authorities do not have adequate supplies of foreign currency, they have reduced quantities they buy from local suppliers, but I still have to check with my secretary-general to get full details on the actual state of supplies (water treatment chemicals) in the market.”
Harare City Council’s acting director for water, Mabhena Moyo said the local authority had engaged the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) for forex to procure chemicals as all local suppliers had nothing in stock.
“We have reduced the water we are treating because we don’t have chemicals. We have engaged the RBZ but we are yet to get a favourable response. We checked with all our suppliers locally, we don’t have sulphuric acid and we hope that the central bank will help very fast,” Moyo said.
The situation is dire and exposes residents to waterborne diseases.
Already Harare is battling to meet water demand as it pumps 420 mega litres per day against the required 1 000 mega litres.
Last month, there were reports that Bulawayo had run out of the water treatment chemicals with fears that the local authority could be forced to stop the purification of the precious liquid due to foreign currency shortages.