By Providence Moyo & Anotida Kwami
Government is seized with implementing far reaching programmes and projects to boost access to water and provide affordable water security for development.
Implementation of the programmes ensured that the country achieves Sustainable Goal number 6 which is water and Sanitation for all by 2030.
This is according to the Minister of Land , Agriculture , Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Dr. Anxious Jongwe Masuka during the World Water Day commemorations yesterday.
” Today we commemorate World Water Day . This day is set aside by the United Nations to help draw the attention of everyone , including leaders , policy makers and citizens to the challenges affecting our water issues . The day is therefore
meant to help us redirect and refocus our energies and attention on the importance of water in our lives and remember the 2,2 billion people who lack access to clean water across the globe . We must redouble our efforts in pursuit of Sustainable Development Goal 6 which is ” Water and Sanitation for all by 2030″.
Dr Masuka said this is in line with National Development Strategy 1(NDS1) and the Agriculture and Food System transformation .
” Government aims to provide portable water for all by 2025 , through the drilling of 35 ,000 boreholes in the 35 000 villages across the country whilst making sure that the 9 600 schools country wide each have a borehole and increase irrigation to 350 000ha . Several dam construction projects such as Gwayi-Shangani dam , Semwa Dam , Bindura Dam , Causeway Dam , Chivhu Dam , Silverstroom Dam , ZiminyaDam and Vungu Dam are being accelerated.”
Government has committed $10 billion dollars towards the construction of dams in the country while ZWL $700 million has been set aside for the rehabilitation of water treatment plants at 14 centres in the country. Additionally government will rehabilitate over 20 irrigation schemes under the program.
“Government has taken important practical steps to address water challenges in urban centres such as the National Matebeleland Zambezi Water Project which was launched by the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe , His Excellency Dr E.D Mnangagwa , on 25 February 2021.”
Meanwhile , Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) reiterated the need to protect and promote the right to water for all by calling on the government of Zimbabwe and the local authorities to end all forms of water poverty, especially considering that water is a critical component towards eradicating extreme poverty, curbing the spread of the Covid19 pandemic and other diseases such as Diarrhea and Cholera; as well as improving nutrition and economic development.
” We wish to call upon the government , local authorities and all responsible local authorities on water provision to ensure that they value water by adopting specific interventions like adopting zero tolerance policy towards water pollution , ensuring that all boreholes in rural , peri -urban and urban areas are disability friendly.”
The commemoration come at the time when MIHR ends the 9 weeks long #MondayWaterAction campaign which began on Monday 25 January 2021 and gave Bulawayo residents skills and space to nonviolently demand the protection and promotion of water rights in Zimbabwe.