By Bernard Chiketo
Mutare’s unaccounted water is now down to 48 percent a 20 percent reduction from 68 percent four years ago.
Mutare City Council (MCC) Director Engineering and Technical Services Maxwell Kerith told a Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) high level policy dialogue on good governance at a city hotel this week that they are hoping to reduce it to at least 25 percent.
“We have just finished checking our non-revenue water as of December 2020 and we are down to 48 percent. In four years, we have now reduced it by 20 percent.
“As a country we have set our target at 25 percent and we are working at that,” Kerith said.
He said they are now in the process of installing community water-meters as they seek to account for every drop and appreciate usage by each residential area.
The MCC top engineer said they are hoping to establish if the water loss was due to physical loss from bursts and theft or if it’s due to billing mistakes.
“We are installing district water chambers so that we know exactly how much each community is using and is the losses are due to physical loss from burst and theft or if its billing errors,” he said.
Auditor General Mildred Chiri in a 2019 audit blamed the local authority’s water loses on a broad array of infrastructural and administrative inefficiencies.
“I noted that 67 percent of the Council’s treated water (22 677 156 cubic meters) was not billed as it was lost mainly due to leakages, non-metered connections and accounts not created in the system,” Chiri said in a hard-hitting audit report of local authorities.
The report said “the situation was worsened by the fact that Council had 15,872 non-functional water meters.”