Small towns get Aussie attention

HARARE - Australia has pumped $30 million to improve water supply and sanitation in more than a dozen Zimbabwean small towns.

More than half a million people will benefit from the fund, channeled through AusAid, a development arm of the Australian government.

The fund will cover Bindura, Chipinge, Chiredzi, Chivhu, Gokwe, Gwanda, Hwange, Karoi, Mutoko, Mvurwi, Plumtree, Rusape, Shurugwi and Zvishane, towns which suffer chronic water and sanitation problems.

Speaking at the launch of the programme in Harare, Water Resources and Management minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo said Zimbabwe’s broke government could only overcome its challenges with support from international partners.

“This situation, coupled with poor hygiene practices, expose the people particularly children and women to serious risk of water and sanitation related diseases,” he said.

The programme will run until 2015. Australia remains one of Zimbabwe’s biggest donors despite President Robert Mugabe’s accusations that it using sanctions to cripple Zimbabwe’s economy.

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