Govt to carry out water audit in urban centres

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GOVERNMENT is set to institute a water audit in cities and towns following revelations that urban local authorities are losing 68 percent of treated water.

Residents in cities and towns across the country are facing water challenges, with Bulawayo City Council implementing a 144-hour weekly water shedding programme while Gweru has imposed a 72-hour weekly water shedding programme.

In some cities such as Bulawayo and Gweru, high lying areas have gone for months without water.

Residents have now been forced to look for alternative water sources some of which pose a serious health hazard.

Speaking on the sidelines of a town clerk’s forum organised by the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) last Friday, UCAZ secretary Mr Shangwa Mavesera said the water audit will commence in January 2021.

He said Government and UCAZ will work together to ensure that the audit is carried out.

Mr Mavesera said by August or September 2021 the auditor should be through with preparing the report which will be presented to Government by October.

“Our water losses what we call non-revenue water which we have calculated the highest in losses that we had for 2019 was 68 percent,” he said.

“That means if a local authority is treating 100 megalitres there are losing 68 megalitres and they are left with 32 megalitres.”

Mr Mavesera said what it means is that at the production level, councils have enough water to cover their jurisdictions but most of the treated water does not reach the intended beneficiaries.

“So, the water audit is to see where is the water? Where has it been lost? We bought it from Zinwa and treated it at 100 megalitres now when we get to the people, we have got 32 megalitres,” he said.

Mr Mavesera said preliminary findings show that water losses may be a result of too many leakages, people stealing water from council or may be councils measurement instruments are not up to scratch.

“We want all those issues to be interrogated by an expert which comes with recommendations to say we have residents who were stealing water,” he said.

“The 2022 budget should speak to the results of the audit and in 2022 we should be seeing a reduction in water losses and a reduction in expenses towards provision of water, a reduction in the tariffs that people pay towards water.” chronicle

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