By Kudakwashe Vhenge
Harare Metropolitan Residents Forum(HAMREF) together with Community Water Alliance have written a letter to President of Zimbabwe Cde ED Mnangagwa encouraging him to allocate enough financial resources to water delivery in the 2020 national budget, as a way of fulfilling the commitment made during a tour of Morton Jaffray.
During a tour of Morton Jaffray on 04 November 2019, President E D Mnangagwa committed to helping the City of Harare draw 600 megaliters per day from Lake Manyame and treat it for distribution to residents. Section 4 of the 1998 Water Act bestows the power of ownership of raw water in the Office of the President and therefore the commitment made can compel the Zimbabwe National Water Authority to act on the directive.
Besides requesting sealing the commitment through budget allocation, HAMREF has implored the national Government through the Office of President to do the following provide financial resources for capital projects.
These projects are to include “rehabilitation of sewer treatment plants in Harare Metropolitan Province as contamination and pollution of raw water has remained as a key driver to high water purification costs,” read the letter.
The letter to the president also calls for the replacement of obsolete infrastructure as 40% of potable water produced in Harare is lost through leakages.
As the government has been preaching the gospel of devolution, the letter also advocates for the same with regards to the resuscitation and construction of water in the country.
“Building of alternative water sources in the long run i.e construction of Kunzvi, Muda Musami dams,” reads part of the letter.
Civil society organizations have bemoaned lack of commitment by the government to address the water issue as they feel that the situation should for long have been declared a national disaster.
Chairperson of the Harare Residents Forum Marvelous Khumalo pointed out that misgovernance and lack of a political will have brought the water situation in the country to be where it is today.
“The slow reaction by the government in response to the water crisis is as a result of poor planning and misplaced priorities.
“Motton Jaffray water treatment plant was commissioned in the 1950s for a population of not more than 300 000 over the years the population has grown to 4 million.
“The central government was sleeping on duty and not putting water provision as a priority regardless of human death through water-borne diseases,” said Khumalo.
HAMREF calls for adequate water budget allocation
By Kudakwashe Vhenge