Wallace Ruzvidzo Herald Reporter
The Morton Jaffray Waterworks Plant is on the path to full modernisation following the refurbishment of much of the plant by a Chinese firm, China Machinery Engineering Company (CMEC).
This is the first total renovation of the plant since it was commissioned in 1954.
Previously, the City of Harare was only able to replace particular components of the system.
A familiarisation tour of the water works last week showed that the plant was now mostly automated, with renovated raw water inlet valves, new dosing equipment and new equipment for the water filtration process.
New equipment for the pump stations and a newly-built switch gear room is also in place and is fully operational.
“We have equipped Morton Jaffray with world-class equipment which will last for 20 to 30 years, and most of the machinery is automated,” said the project executive director Mr Cao Yang.
“I have given the best staff to ensure the system works well.
“Our desire is to see Harare receiving adequate water.
“The city has immense potential to grow and our desire is to ensure this happens.”
Harare is struggling to supply enough water to its population that has outgrown the capacity of the water works.
A visit to Lake Chivero after the tour at Morton Jaffray showed that water levels continue to drop and pollution levels have worsened.
Mr Cao revealed that water in some parts of the lake cannot be treated anymore due to excessive pollution.
“The high levels of pollution have reduced the volume of treatable water, thus affecting water supply,” he said.
He urged Government and the city council to look for alternative water sources to augment the existing ones.
“We would like the Government to be able to look for new water sources so as to ease pressure on the existing ones and we would also like the Government to come and have a look at the situation at Lake Chivero,” said Mr Cao.
He called for a mind-set shift by residents to stop polluting water for short-term gains as it is not only the responsibility of the City of Harare officials or Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA).
The tour was attended by CMEC and City of Harare officials.
CMEC is a Chinese firm present in Zimbabwe since 2007, and to date the company has implemented three livelihood projects in the agriculture, water and health sectors with a total value of US$443 million.
In 2010, an agreement was signed for the development and rehabilitation of municipal water works for the City of Harare valued at US$144 million for rehabilitation of Morton Jaffray Water Plant, Warren Control Pump Station, New Alex Park and Alex Park Pump Station, Letombo Pump Station, Firle Sewage Plant, Crowborough Sewage Plant and Borrowdale sewage distribution pump stations.
The deal included supply of laboratory equipment, water treatment chemicals, valves, ICT equipment and construction equipment.
In addition, another agreement was signed with the Ministry of Health and Child Care for the supply of medical equipment.
Both projects commenced in 2013.