HARARE - Zimbabwe is set to monitor ground water withdrawals as part of strategies to mitigate effects of a devastating drought, a senior government official has said.
Water minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said there was need to properly manage the available water sources, which face depletion if recklessly used.
“The drought has also seen an increase in pressure on other water sources such as groundwater, which are also threatened with depletion if not carefully managed. We need to monitor our withdrawals from ground water. We also need to control silt in our dams so that they store more water,” Muchinguri-Kashiri said.
“As government, we have to put in place mechanisms that will ensure that the effects of the current drought will be mitigated. My ministry and Zinwa have embarked on a serious information and awareness drive to our people to conserve the available water by using water efficiency methods, be it in household chores, on our farms and in our industries.”
Already, government through the Zinwa, has imposed a ban on bulk water extractions in Harare’s residential suburbs.
Furthermore, Zinwa charges $3 per cubic metre or 1000 litres for bulk water extractions which are sold to residents.
Zinwa has also announced that it was going to install meters on boreholes countrywide.
Muchinguri-Kashiri said the drought posed a threat to the growth of Zimbabwe’s economy.
“The current drought has seen levels of our water bodies significantly dropping and this poses a real and credible threat to economic development, food security and the job security of thousands of people whose jobs are highly dependent on water especially in the agricultural sector,” she said.
“...the world over, agriculture relies 70 percent on global fresh water withdrawals. A farmer’s job depends on their ability to manage the available freshwater. This is why as government, we have set up catchment and sub-catchment councils to make sure that our water is managed by stakeholders at the lowest possible levels.
“I want to urge our councils to manage this precious liquid in a fair, transparent and efficient manner to ensure that out farmers, urban, water requirements, mining and industrial needs are all met.”