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Critical Shortage Of Water Purification Chemicals In Harare - 2003-11-13


Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, has so little money that the municipal authority cannot afford to buy water purification chemicals. This worsens the city's already chronic water problems.

The Harare city council says it is left only with a four-day supply of a vital water purification chemical.

The state controlled daily newspaper, The Herald, says the local supplier of the chemical had cut off supplies because the local authority had defaulted on payment.

The paper quotes Town Clerk Nomutsa Chideya as saying the city council is making efforts to import the chemical from South Africa.

Last week, the city council announced that it would cut the water supply for one day each week to some suburbs.

The city council has also banned the use of garden hoses for watering lawns or washing cars. Water usage is traditionally at its peak this time of the year when temperatures soar. Some Harare neighborhoods have been experiencing water shortages for years.

The city council attributes the problems to a limited pumping facility, a lack of money to buy spare parts and, occasionally, on a lack of electricity to run the water pumps.

The Herald newspaper says while some Harare residents are resorting to buying water from neighbors with wells, some are getting water from open wells, exposing themselves to water-borne diseases.

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