Gweru City Council is losing at least 57% of its treated water through burst pipes and leakages, with most of its equipment having outlived its lifespan, a service level benchmarking peer review report has revealed.
According to Kwekwe assistant director of works, Vincent Mutambirwa, who presented the committee’s findings last week, the Midlands capital needs to modernise its water reticulation system to minimise leakages.
“As the peer review committee, we have realised that the city (Gweru) has a high non-revenue water sitting at 57%,” he said.
“There is need for the city to repair its distribution water network to avoid such losses. There is need to expedite the procurement and replacement of ageing pumps.”
According to the committee, the city will continue to incur labour, power and water treatment costs if the problem continues unattended. The committee said council surpassed the water leaks acceptable levels by more than 50%, a situation that pointed to heavy loss of treated water in the city.
Last year, councillors and management failed to agree on a proposal to introduce a levy to address some of the challenges faced by the city.
The councillors said ratepayers could not afford to pay the levy since they were already failing to settle bills owing to economic hardships.
But management argued that such a levy had helped resolve some of the water challenges faced by other local authorities.
The three-day peer review engagement chaired by Chitungwiza town clerk, George Makunde was part of reviews carried across the 32 urban councils in the country where the committee (peer review) assessed Gweru on five indicators including water supply, waste water management, solid waste management, public safety and corporate governance.