ZB Bank Re-Ignites Pre-Paid Water Metering Agenda during Covid -19 in Harare

The Zimbabwe Bank Capital is seeking a partnership with the City of Harare to install prepaid waters to improve water provision and compel ratepayers to pay for water before consumption. The proposal comes at a time when the City is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic.

ZB Bank Capital intends to conduct a pilot and then roll it to other areas of Harare.

“The project would be broken into small components starting with a particular area and then rolling it out to other areas. The focus was to ensure that residents got and paid for water,” read the Environment committee minutes.

According to the documents, ZB Bank Capital will be the supplier of the pre-paid water meters. The bank claims that it has implemented successful pre-paid water meter projects in Plumtree and Gwanda.

According to the Chairperson of Gwanda Residents Association, Mr Fuzwayo only 40 pre-paid water meters were installed in Gwanda and they have not been functioning well with some residents going without water for days.

“It’s a failed project only 40 pre-paid water meters were installed and some were removed due to faults and not replaced,” said Mr Bekhezela Fuzwayo.

The development comes at a time when the Harare City Council has failed to produce reports of the Prepaid Water Meter pilot projects for Sunningdale and Kambuzuma.

Speaking with a Mbare resident ,Mr Gandiya, he said, “pre-paid meters are not a pro-poor approach as residents we do not want them and we cannot afford such arrangements and if council persist it will compromise household hygiene especially this Covid era.”

Basing on extensive research and learning, CHRA in partnership with other CSOs rejected the Prepaid Water Meter Policy in Harare as they are a threat to public health, expensive to maintain and a launch pad for water privatisation.

Source: Combined Harare Residents’ Association