FILE PHOTO: Zimbabwean Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.
HARARE – The Zimbabwe government on Thursday released 37.4 million Zimbabwe dollars (about 3.1 million U.S. dollars) to the City of Harare as a short-term intervention to help it improve service delivery.

The city council has been struggling to provide adequate services, including clean water and sanitation to the residents over the past months due to lack of resources.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said the government was aware of the challenges the City of Harare was facing regarding water provision and waste management.

"The City of Harare is facing a number of challenges which have resulted in failure to resolve the water and sanitation under-provision within the city. This has contributed to the decline in the health status of residents," Ncube said in a statement.

He said the challenges include absence of a billing system, hence poor collection rates as well as reduced capacity to implement programs that enhance service delivery.

"To ameliorate the situation, central government has now intervened by releasing 37.4 million Zimbabwe dollars from Treasury including foreign currency, towards interventions that will seek to improve water access and waste water treatment in the short term," he said.

The minister said the government will also find long-term solutions for Harare's water and sanitation challenges. Furthermore, the central government is also developing a long-term solution for the water and sanitation challenges facing the residents of Harare, the minister said.

"This will include putting in place an implementation team comprising of government, City of Harare, and other experts," he said. In 2018, the country experienced a devastating cholera outbreak whose epicenter was Budiriro high-density suburb in Harare, which killed more than 4,000 people throughout the country.

XINHUA