#3By3December – Prepaid Water Meters

Community Water Alliance staff visited households with pre-paid water meters in Kambuzuma Section 1. The purpose of visit was to assess the impact of pre-paid water meters installed in 2017 by City of Harare on its pilot project. In Kambuzuma Section 1, one hundred households were used as a pre-payment pilot policy on water by City of Harare.

The visit and assessment by Community Water Alliance revealed that more than two thirds (of the 100 households installed) of those who pre-paid for water in 2017, still have the money un-used because water rarely comes in the area. Before installation of pre-paid water meters, the area used to have water 24/7. The situation now is extremely bad. A bucket of water fill-up after 8 hours.

Water cuts worsen the situation in Kambuzuma Section 1. Access to water which sometimes come after a long time ( two days), is worsened by water cuts.

The price of potable water under the pre-payment system was $0,60c per cubic metre in 2017 when Kambuzuma residents paid for the services. This price is way too high as compared to the $0,25c per cubic metre under conventional metres in Harare.

City of Harare is dwindling residents through double billing. The composite bill of City of Harare is coming with water charges whilst residents are buying pre-payment tokens for water.

The challenges of access to water in Kambuzuma have forced residents to pay $40 per month on bulk water purchases. Some have resorted to digging shallow wells at their homesteads. Residents expressed high dissatisfaction with pre-paid water meters and proposed that City of Harare should revert back to post-payment conventional meters. The local district is not helping because they have no knowledge on pre-paid water meters and they are referring residents to companies that installed the meters.

Source: Community Water Alliance

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