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Zimbabwe set to supply treated water to South Africa

by Staff reporter
11 Aug 2017 at 06:41hrs | Views
South Africa and Zimbabwe have opened negotiations through the Bi-National Commission, which will see Zimbabwe supplying treated water to the neighbouring country's northern region, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko said yesterday.

Vhembe district, which borders Zimbabwe along the Limpopo River has five municipalities.

The Vice President said this while commissioning a new water treatment plant in Beitbridge.

The $40 million plant, with a pumping capacity of 4 000 cubic metres of water per hour, was wholly funded by Government through the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP).

Beitbridge town which draws its water from the Limpopo River requires an average of 15 000 mega litres of water per day and water woes have dogged the town in the last three decades. At its inception as a port town, the water treatment plant was designed to supply only 3 000 mega litres per day.

Said the Vice President: "This water treatment plant could be one of the quick wins for this bilateral cooperation since there is already an existing pipeline from Beitbridge to Musina.

"I am also advised that the plant will not only supply water to residents of this town alone, but will also supply water to surrounding communities within 40km radius from the town.

"These include Lutumba, Dumba, Nuli and Mapayi. This will no doubt result in the transformation of these places in terms of hygiene and improved sanitation."

He added that the development of key infrastructure was one of the key Government priorities under ZimAsset.

VP Mphoko said Beitbridge town was strategically located at one of the busiest ports of entry in Sadc hence the need to give developmental projects in the area the priority they deserve.

"As Government, we are conscious of the strategic role the town of Beitbridge plays in Zimbabwe's economic development as it is the largest port of entry linking Zimbabwe to South Africa and the sea, handling millions of travellers each year," he said.

"This makes Beitbridge very prone to disease outbreaks such as cholera, dysentery and other related diseases that are associated with transit zones".

The Vice President said the completion of the water project reaffirmed Government's commitment towards the provision of clean and safer water to its citizens as espoused under Section 77 of the Constitution.

He said the Constitution identified water as a basic human right and placed an obligation on the State to ensure that citizens have safer, clean and potable water.

He added; "Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 also compels United Nations member states to take practical steps towards 50 percent reduction by 2030, the number of people without access to clean and safer water.

"Attainment of such targets requires that as a Government, we invest in adequate infrastructure, institutions and systems that allow more people to access water and the Beitbridge project is a living determination to resolve access to the water matrix and set a new trajectory.  We believe we are firmly on the path".

Vice President Mphoko said the improved water supply situation in Beitbridge will help unlock the town's potential as an investment destination.

He said investors were comfortable doing business in areas with reliable water supplies.

The Minister of State Security, Kembo Mohadi, who is the legislator of Beitbridge East constituency which covers the border town, said the completion of the water treatment plant was long overdue.

"This is a great relief to the Beitbridge community and I also want to urge central government to consider handing over the management and administration of water in the area to the town council," he said.

Source - chronicle