HARARE - Zimbabwe's capital shut its main water works on Monday citing shortages of foreign currency to import treatment chemicals, the deputy mayor said, potentially leaving the city dry and raising the risk of water borne diseases like cholera.
Last year, the southern African nation suffered its worst cholera outbreak in a decade, which killed at least 26 people mainly in Harare, due to burst sewers and inadequate water supplies.
An El Nino-induced drought has reduced water levels in the country's dams, including Kariba, which supplies the biggest hydro electricity plant and hit the capacity of cities and towns to supply water to residents.
Harare City Council deputy mayor Enock Mupamawonde told reporters that the local authority required at least 40 million Zimbabwe dollars ($2.7 million) a month for water chemicals but it was only collecting 15 million Zimbabwe dollars in monthly revenue.
He said the shortages of foreign exchange for chemicals had forced the council to close its Morton Jaffray treatment plant outside Harare for now. He did not know when it would be re-opened.