Harare City Council (HCC) has allocated US$216 million to undertake key projects meant to turn around service provision in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector.

The capital city has been facing water challenges which have seen some wards and districts going for years without stable and safe drinking liquid.

Addressing the media in his New Year message, Harare Mayor, Jacob Mafume said the money which was allocated in the 2024 council budget will address water supply gaps.

“The projects include major rehabilitation works at the water treatment plants and the distribution network,” said Mafume.

“Another signature project in the water sector is the completion and commissioning of the Chlorine Dioxide Project which will help reduce the number of water treatment chemicals.

“Refurbishment at Morton Jaffray through rehabilitation of 14 filters and replacement of 3 pumps will improve water production and pumping to 450 Megalitres/Day from the current average of 280 litres/Day once complete,” he added.

Mafume said there will be more interventions in the distribution network through pipe replacement and installation of 2000 commercial and 40 000 domestic prepaid water meters as well as the replacement of 40 000 conventional water meters.

“This will result in reduction of non-revenue water by 2% from 60% to 58%. These metering interventions are expected to improve revenue collection efficiency to 60% from the current 40% attributed to the targeted consumers. Protect the vulnerable groups of the society.”

Mafume expressed optimism saying the council has set targets to meet Harare’s daily water demand.

“We are hopeful that in 2024 we will reach 450 megalitres of water production per day. Although this is not adequate to supply the citizens of Harare, it will at least improve on the coverage aspect which has remained limited.”

Harare has been experiencing a series of dry taps for over ten years owing to financial, operational and management crises at the local authority.