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Harare Water Crisis Attributed To Shortage Of Purification Chemicals

Critical shortages of water in many parts of Harare, Zimbabwe's capital, continued on Friday for the fifth straight day though sources said deliveries of chemicals needed to purify water raised the prospect of a return to something like normal conditions.

The state-controlled Herald newspaper reported Friday that conditions had improved, though independent checks with sources around the city indicated that many districts outside the center remained without water. The Herald said the restoration of electric power for 24 straight hours to the Morton Jaffray Water Works and a new shipment of purification chemicals allowed the plant to resume pumping water into the system.

The Herald said Water Minister Munacho Mutezo visited the plant Thursday, voicing appreciation for support in the crisis from the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority and other key suppliers including Zimphos, a local chemical producer.

The minister urged the public to make sparing use of the available water.

But the newspaper acknowledged that status reports Thursday showed the Harare districts of Mabvuku, Tafara, Highlands, Borrowdale, Hatcliffe, Chisipite, Ruwa and Epworth without water, though the central business district was well provided.

Correspondent Thomas Chiripasi of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe on Friday visited the Morton Jaffray plant where staff said chemical shortages caused the crisis.

Combined Harare Residents Association officer Joseph Rose said the water minister’s visits to the plant had merely been an effort to seem to be doing something, because the water supply had long been deteriorating nothing was done about it.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...