The Harare city council on Thursday said it would begin rolling out prepaid water meters starting with residential areas by year- end, following a successful pilot project. City director of Finance Tendai Kwenda told a 2018 pre-budget business community consultative meeting that the pilot phase of the prepaid water metering project saw 2 000 meters being installed.
“We are in the process of installing prepaid water meters. The piloting has been completed as we installed 2 000 meters in Sunningdale and Marimba. Next, we will roll out 100 000 prepaid water meters in Kuwadzana and Westlea among other areas. We expect the project to kick off before the end of the year,” he said.
Kwenda added: “We will be rolling out in phases targeting areas that have constant supply of water.”
There has been stiff resistance from some residents to proposals to install pre-paid meters although the success of the pre-paid electricity meters by Zesa have been used as an example of how people will accept pre-paid essential utilities. The switch to pre-paid will also ensure the council is paid for water used and that residents will tend to manage water better, essential as the council cannot treat enough for total unmanaged demand. Zesa found both regular cashflow and reduced demand.
Kwenda said the city was having difficulties collecting rates as well as the money owed to it by residents. — New Ziana.