Tuesday, June 21, 2016

ZINWA Owed Over $133 Million
June 22, 2016

Consumers who draw water from dams around the country owe the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) in excess of $133 million, Parliament heard yesterday. Zinwa chief executive officer Jefta Sakupwanya told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture Mechanization and Irrigation that most water consumers were reluctant to pay as they argued that the commodity was a natural resource.Mr Sakupwanya said of the $133 million debt, those who used water for irrigation purposes had the largest unpaid bill of $37 million followed by local authorities, which owed Zinwa $36 million.

“The main challenge we face is the unwillingness to pay for the water we deliver to our various customers. There is a misconception that Zinwa is charging water which is a natural resource. And this has impacted negatively on our ability to maintain some of the major infrastructure we have as assets,” he said.

He said as a result of the debt and unwillingness by consumers to pay, Zinwa owed its 2 000 workers a total of $11 million for seven months’ salary backlog.

“But with the limited resources we have, we still fulfil our mandate as much as we can,” he said.

Zinwa currently charges $5 per one million litres of water consumed from dams.

Mr Sakupwanya added that climate change, which has resulted in low rainfall patterns, had impacted negatively on Zinwa operations of managing water.

“We also have the impact of climate change that has affected the resource endowment itself. So we have to put in place mitigatory measures which also require investment in infrastructure for us to guarantee water security for the nation,” he said.

Zinwa manages and governs the country’s water bodies.

— New Ziana.

Council installs prepaid water meters

June 22, 2016
Innocent Ruwende
Municipal Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

Residents in areas where Harare City Council is rolling out a pilot project to install prepaid water meters have embraced the programme but are cautious of the costs, saying they have started self-rationing.

Council has started installing the meters in Sunningdale while other suburbs including Bluffhill, Kambuzuma, Greendale, Avenues and Avondale will be used as pilots to analyse how smart water meters work.

City officials and contractors yesterday toured Sunningdale to ascertain how residents were receiving the programme. A resident Ms Stella Chisvo said their meter was installed last Friday hence she could not tell whether the prepaid system was cheaper or not.

“We have had the meter for two days. It is working well. We bought 12 000 litres for $10. We are still to see the difference.

“We live here as three families. We used to pay $70 per month, so we are still to gauge if this method is cheaper. We are now conserving water just like we do with our electricity,” she said.

Ms Susan Kasese said she did not know much about the prepaid system and will only know after a month.

“We welcome the project. It is going to make us conserve water but we can only compare it with the old system at the end of the month,” she said.

Mrs Florence Zichawo said they had embraced the project.

“The meter was installed on Monday and we were given 3 000 litres and currently we are left with 2 800. We can only tell the difference after a month,” she said.

Mr James Mutete said the meters would enable residents to plan accordingly.

“You only pay for what you use. It is an advantage to us but it is too early to determine if the system is cheaper,” he said.

The city’s acting corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said the city was happy that residents were embracing the pre-paid water system.

“We have started installing pre-paid water meters with one of the companies Tricon already on the ground. We are happy with the response we got from residents. The benefits are mutual, residents will be able to manage their water.

“For the city everyone pays for their water and we will be able to re-invest in water infrastructure,” he said.

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