After years of intermittent water service brought on by failing equipment and the disruptions of the early 21st century’s political and financial crises, work has begun on a major infrastructure upgrade to the water system of the city of Harare in Zimbabwe. The Morton Jaffray Water Works, a water treatment plant that was built in 1953, has been suffering failures due to the age of its equipment, exacerbated by the constraints of the economic chaos of the previous decade which made keeping the plant running at optimum efficiency and capacity an impossibility. With a $144 million loan secured from Chinese Export and Import Bank, the plant is to be extensively renovated to meet the needs of today and the future.
The upgrade to the water treatment facility will include replacing all to the plant’s pumps and antiquated valves and is anticipated to increase the capacity of the plant to 740 mega-liters a day from it’s current output of approximately 600 mega-liters. More importantly, as the equipment will be all-new, it is expected that the plant will not suffer the service interruptions that have plagued the waterworks over the past decade.
In addition to the upgrading of the waterworks, plans include replacing over 200 km of old and leaky water mains. It is estimated that up to 60% of the clean, treated water produced today is lost due to leaks within the distribution system. New water meters are to be installed throughout the city, replacing the antiquated units currently in place and public pre-pay water dispensers will be installed on the city’s main avenues to provide safe clean water to those without a connection to the water system.
In addition to supply-side upgrades, the City of Harare is planning on repairing nearly 100 km of sewer lines which are also antiquated, damaged and leaking. These investments in the infrastructure underlying Zimbabwe’s capital city looks toward a brighter future for all its citizens and visitors.