Community Water Alliance has by 17 February 2019 received ever increasing cases on theft of water meters in majority of high density suburbs in Harare.
A visit to Budiriro on 16 February 2019 by Community Water Alliance staff revealed that more than 200 households have had their water meters stolen.
Some residents have reported the cases to the local police whilst others have lost faith in the willingness of local police to stop this theft which has exposed water infrastructure to vandalism.
Affected residents who were interviewed by Community Water Alliance staff said the absence of potable water 24/7 has made it possible for thieves to steal the meters at night without being noticed. In the past, the gushing of water after meter removal made it risk for thieves to be involved in such manner of vandalism.
The theft of water meters is likely to increase non-revenue water in Harare. It pours cold water on the non-revenue water reduction target set by Harare Water in its 2018-2028 Strategic Plan. Theft of water meters kills financial sustainability of water services in Harare and we encourage residents with any information to come forward and report suspects.
Preliminary findings by Community Water Alliance staff revealed alleged involvement of carpenters who are involved in manufacturing of coffins. The brass from the water meters is allegedly used for coating of coffin handles.
We implore City of Harare officials, particularly municipal police together with Zimbabwe Republic Police to do a thorough job and get to the bottom of this matter.
Source: Community Water Alliance