HARARE, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe's capital city Harare has shut down a water treatment plant because of depleted water supply in reservoirs, the Harare City Council announced Tuesday, as an El Nino-induced drought has swept the African country, drying up many dams.
The Prince Edward Water Treatment Plant, the smaller one of the capital's two water treatment plants, was shut down on Saturday "as a result of depleted raw water in the supply dams of Harava and Seke" which are "at 13.7 percent and 13.5 percent full," said the council, adding that the water level in Seke is now below the abstraction level.
Most of the city's southern suburbs which are supplied directly from the plant have been affected by the shutdown, it said.
The two dams of Harava and Seke are the major reservoirs for Harare and their water is mainly treated at the Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Works. However, the city and its dormitory towns of Chitungwiza, Norton and Ruwa have been experiencing water shortages because of continuous breakdowns at the major treatment plant.
The shutdown at the Prince Edward Water Treatment Plant comes at a time when the city is grappling with a cholera outbreak which has so far left 13 people dead in Harare and Chitungwiza, according to figures from the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
The transmission of acute diarrheal infection is closely linked to inadequate access to clean water and sanitation facilities, according to the World Health Organization. ■