The City of Harare has temporarily closed its water treatment plant due to a phenomenon called “lake turn” at Lake Chivero. The local government authority explained that the “lake turn” occurred as a result of a sudden weather change on the night of September 12, 2023. According to a statement seen by Pindula News, the city officials said this phenomenon causes warm water from the bottom of the lake to rise to the top, where water for treatment is obtained. Consequently, the water being abstracted for treatment is contaminated. Read the statement:


The City of Harare wishes to advise that due to the sudden weather change that happened last night (12 September 2023) the water supply dam, Lake Chivero, experienced a “lake turn” phenomenon.

This happens when warm water at the bottom of the lake, rises to the top of the water body where water for treatment is abstracted.

This phenomenon brings the dirty water to abstraction point (the level where water is drawn from the lake to the treatment works for treatment).

The City has had to shut down the plant to allow for adjustment of abstraction levels to draw better quality raw water for treatment.

The shutdown has resulted in water supply shortages to the whole City. Water supply is expected to be restored by 1800hrs today, 13 September 2023.

Residents are therefore encouraged to use available water sparingly as works are being carried out.


Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe, has for years faced significant water challenges with some suburbs going for years without water. The city’s water supply system is struggling to meet the growing demand due to various factors. These challenges include ageing infrastructure, limited investment in water infrastructure development, and prolonged drought periods affecting water sources. As a result, residents are experiencing frequent water shortages and irregular supply. Analysts say the situation remains a pressing concern, requiring sustainable solutions to ensure adequate and reliable water supply for the residents of Harare.