Original Research

Performance evaluation of water supply services in Chitungwiza: How water supply services mirrors poor governance and lack of management

Luckson Zvobgo
Journal of Local Government Research and Innovation | Vol 1 | a17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jolgri.v1i0.17 | © 2020 Luckson Zvobgo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 June 2020 | Published: 22 October 2020

About the author(s)

Luckson Zvobgo, Climate System Analysis Group (CSAG), Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


Background: Provision of reliable water services is crucial for urban livelihood. In Chitungwiza, provision of water services has been deteriorating since the millennium with residents losing hope for better services. The poor supply of municipal water in Chitungwiza has led to a chronic ‘dry taps situation’ where household taps are dry from periods of several consecutive days to months.

Aim: This article assesses the water supply challenges in Chitungwiza through performance evaluation of the water supply services.

Setting: The study was conducted in 26 suburbs in the four residential zones of Chitungwiza Municipality.

Methods: Performance evaluation of water supply services was carried out using seven performance indicators: coverage of water supply connection, extent of metering of water connections, presence of leakages, extent of non-revenue water, continuity of water supply, quality of water supplied and efficiency in redressal of customer complaints. Two hundred and ninety-eight semi-structured questionnaires were administered in four residential zones of Chitungwiza. Water distribution system surveillance and key informant interviews were also conducted.

Results: The results indicate high non-revenue water, poor water infrastructure maintenance, lack of water investment leading to widespread leakages in the distribution system, poor water quality supply and unreliable services provision. A majority, 80.2%, rated the municipal water supply services as poor. To cope with this new reality, households in Chitungwiza implemented a ‘source switch’ to new sources.

Conclusion: Household shallow wells were identified as the main adapting strategy with 51.7% households relying on wells despite concerns about the water quality of the wells. Chitungwiza municipality should implement structural reforms that allow the current water service provision to improve.


performance evaluation; dry taps; water services provision; water infrastructure; Chitungwiza


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Crossref Citations

1. Consumer ability and willingness to pay more for continuous municipal water supply in Chitungwiza
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