(Last Updated on October 5, 2022 by ZIMDAILY EDITOR)
By Chelsea Mashayamombe
HARARE – The Government has urged local authorities and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) to review and align their tariff structure to ensure sustainability in water infrastructure maintenance and supply services.
Speaking to the media during a Post Cabinet media briefing, Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said government had deliberated on proposed Institutional Arrangements for Managing Water Infrastructure as presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Prof. Mthuli Ncube.
“In order to ensure cost recovery tariffs for both clear and raw water, Local Authorities and ZINWA will continue to review and align their tariff structure to ensure sustainability in maintaining water infrastructure and supply services, with the tariffs being approved by Cabinet before implementation to ensure alignment from an affordability point of view,” Mutsvangwa said.
According to Minister Ncube, ZINWA currently operates and maintains over 530 water supply stations across the country, mainly serving small towns, growth points, service centres, Police and Defence establishments, prisons, schools and hospitals.
As a water management authority, ZINWA assists local authorities in the discharge of their functions.
Institutional arrangements for managing water infrastructure were adopted by Cabinet so as to ensure that optimal benefits from revenue collected on dams accrue to the nation.
Cabinet approved that, in line with the whole of Government approach, water sector coordination be enhanced through strengthening the existing Department of Wash and Population Coordination.
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) interventions are designed to provide life-saving, long-term and sustainable access to safe water and sanitation, whilst promoting good hygiene practices that reduce the risk of water-related disease transmission.
Cabinet also approved that all dams be gazetted as protected areas to ensure sustainability and law enforcement.
Water management authorities should take urgent steps to implement innovative revenue generation measures for approval by Cabinet.
Mutsvangwa said there should be strict enforcement of compliance with sound environmental management in dam construction and management of existing dams in view of climate change, biodiversity loss and adverse social impact.
“That further institutional and structural reforms be explored to attract the private sector investment in dam construction and that the review and alignment of the Water Act and the ZINWA Act be expedited to modernise them and enhance developments in the water sector in pursuit of Vision 2030,” she added.