Monday, 24 October 2016

KASUKUWERE TAKES ON ZINWA

THE Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere said he will push for the takeover of bulk water rights from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) by councils.

Zinwa is in charge of raw water bodies while local authorities are responsible for purifying and pumping the water to residents.

A number of local authorities countrywide have said they are failing to provide enough water to their residents mainly because Zinwa has no capacity to pump enough water due to obsolete equipment among other reasons.

Councils appealed to Cde Kasukuwere at a recent Local Government Investment Conference to assist in addressing the problem.

The conference sought to equip urban local authorities to collectively lure investors but the councils said shortage of water was the major stumbling block.

“Whenever investors come they ask for water, electricity and land and the unavailability of water has cost us. We need 100 percent control of our water which we have no rights over,” said Gwanda Mayor Councillor Knowledge Ndlovu.

Other councils concurred saying the challenge wasn’t confined to Gwanda as other small towns like Lupane, Hwange, Plumtree, Victoria Falls, Gokwe, Beitbridge, Karoi and Mvurwi were facing the same challenge.

The local authorities have since written to Government through the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate seeking water rights.

In response Minister Kasukuwere said by managing water, local authorities who are facing a challenge of shrinking revenue base could make significant money.

He promised to engage his counterpart Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri over the issue.
“As for Gwanda, the town is doing well. The town is turning around now they have capacity and can manage water. Engineer Tommy Rosen (Zinwa catchment manager for Umzingwane), can you allow Gwanda to control their water because they have capacity now. I used to be on environment side but now I have to support local authorities. I will talk to Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri to allow such local authorities manage bulk water supplies so that they can earn a few dollars,” said Minister Kasukuwere.

Eng Rosen was also at the conference and he said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri was seized with the matter. herald

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