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Zimbabwe govt pledges urban water systems overhaul

by Staff reporter
16 Feb 2024 at 02:46hrs | Views
The government of Zimbabwe has stated that it is actively engaged in efforts to rehabilitate water and sewer reticulation systems in urban areas to curb the spread of cholera.

This was said by Minister of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi, during a question-and-answer session in Parliament on Wednesday.

Minister Ziyambi was responding to questions from Members of Parliament regarding government actions to mitigate the spread of the pandemic. He explained that local authorities often lack plans that accommodate population growth, resulting in pressure on councils to provide adequate water and functional sewer systems.

"We have experienced problems with water reticulation in most urban areas due to the failure of local authorities to prioritize system updates. Consequently, the majority of local authorities are now stuck with outdated infrastructure," Ziyambi said.

"Lack of planning over the past twenty years has led to the expansion of urban areas without corresponding updates to water infrastructure. Harare, for example, has significantly increased its population while relying on the same outdated water reticulation system."

"The government is therefore undertaking efforts to renovate existing systems and introduce new ones to support local authorities. As a short-term measure, we have provided borehole water to mitigate the spread of cholera. Additionally, we have provided two-dose oral cholera vaccines valid for six months while we work on long-term solutions. We are also conducting cleanup campaigns throughout the country, such as Operation Chenesa Harare, to further mitigate the pandemic."

Ziyambi emphasised the government's commitment to providing safe and potable water to citizens.

"The long-term solution involves protecting Lake Chivero from further contamination by sewage effluent, a consequence of neglected sewer systems by responsible authorities. The government is implementing a range of measures to address these issues and ensure clean potable water availability for urban populations nationwide," he stated.

"Similar efforts are underway in Bulawayo. We have drilled boreholes in the Nyamadhlovu Aquifer to provide clean water and reduce reliance on the ageing existing system. Rehabilitation of the Bulawayo system is also planned to ensure a long-lasting solution."

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