City of Harare (CoH) has made steps towards achieving their vision of a world class city by 2025.
Though not major, noticeable improvements can be seen in parts of the city. Addressing some of the improvements he has been working on, Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni says, “Our water delivery capacity is growing by the day thanks to the on-going rehabilitation of the Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant.”
This rehabilitation has seen areas that had not received CoH water in years getting running water in their taps, though only for a few hours a day. However, the pipes are old and weak, and therefore continuously break and leak. There are also some areas like Mabvuku and Tafara that are yet to receive a drop of running water after more than five years.
“We have also embraced clean energy in the form of solar street lighting on Borrowdale Road, Robert Mugabe Way, and Enterprise Road, among others,” said Manyenyeni. This move can be applauded but there is still need to expand the project to make sure other parts of the city are lit, particularly streets prone to muggings and robberies.
To help reduce traffic mishaps, international standard road signs have appeared on major roads. Road markings have also been refreshed in the CBD as well as along roads that lead to it. Motorist Samuel Kwangware Jr. said, “I’m pleased about the improvements on our roads but then there are other roads in our residential areas that are now more or less dusty strips and are in dire need of resurfacing.”
CoH has also improved the congestion along the walkways in the CBD by chasing away vendors who were selling their wares at any available spot to the consternation of many pedestrians. Though there is still a huge debate about whether this serves the residents or not, the council is in an ongoing war with vendors, forcing them to sell their goods only at designated sites. “Pavements are now passable and the city’s image is on the rebound,” said Manyenyeni. “We are also working on illegal structures but we must make sure that excessive force is not applied.”
Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) lobby and advocate officer, Esther Chimanikire said, “We commend CoH for improving the water supply in some parts of Harare; however some residents are still complaining about the quality of water saying it has a bad smell and contains visible particles.”
HRT has urged CoH to disburse the ten percent retention funds for each ward in a timely manner so that residents can have their ward-based problems addressed. “Road maintenance in 2015 was mostly done on main roads. Residents want roads in their respective suburbs serviced as well as proper street lighting,” said Chimanikire.
Image: Among the more noticeable improvements is the new signage that has been erected around the city
Image credit: Graham van de Ruit