WATER Resources minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo says his ministry was concerned about local authorities abusing aid intended to upgrade water delivery to residents and warned councils in this habit would not get recommended for future aid.
REPORT BY OBEY MANAYITI STAFF REPORTER
Most local authorities were struggling to rehabilitate their water reticulation systems despite funding by Treasury and international partners, thereby compromising residents and ratepayers’ health.
Nkomo, speaking after pledging to sink 10 boreholes in Dangamvura suburb, Mutare, this week, said local authorities should be aware that the delivery of potable water was a fundamental human right.
“We have managed to get money for water services from the Minister of Finance (Tendai Biti). We want to ensure that there will be no abuse of such funds. We will supervise (the process) to see whether it is spent properly,” Nkomo said. “Minister Biti has seen this (abuse) for a long time and this time around we will not allow such abuses to happen. Local authorities are not autonomous because they get money from my ministry for water services. All we need is transparency because I will not recommend funding for those who abuse it.”
The minister told Mutare City councillors and management that it was criminal to disconnect water services, especially for the elderly, saying such a move would not bear fruit. He urged councils to consult widely before awarding tenders to avoid contracting bogus companies and individuals.
Acting mayor George Jerison said: “I want to thank the ministry for its support and the pledge to drill more boreholes in Mutare. This will go a long way in alleviating the (water) problem. As council, we will make sure that we put an end to water problems.”
Earlier, Nkomo toured Nyanyadzi irrigation project where he pledged to write off $27 000 owed by farmers for the use of water.