Gvt commitment to water provision inadequate

GOVERNMENT’s financial commitment to water is insufficient to deal with growing water borne-diseases outbreaks, a lobby group has said.

By KHANYILE MLOTSHWA

The Community Water Alliance National chairperson, Hildaberta Rwambiwa, this week said “the paltry 0,4 % of the whole National Budget” set aside for water is insufficient to address challenges that include the outbreak of typhoid and provision of potable water by local authorities countrywide.

“The infrastructure and utility cluster is mainly funded through loans and public-private partnerships. Financial contributions, therefore, in this area, are mainly loans for dams’ construction as well as partnerships with private companies, who will be looking for business opportunities,” she said

“The budget proposed $16,4 million towards water and sanitation programmes, of which $10,4 million targets both urban and rural local authorities, while $6 million caters for Zimbabwe National Water Authority and the District Development Fund. The commitment to water and sanitation by government, therefore, stands at 0,4 % of the total budget”

Rwambiwa said since independence, the government has been allocating approximately 1,2% of the total National Budget to water and sanitation.

“The budget allocation on water presents serious challenges on the progressive realisation and the obligation to fulfil the human right to water.

“Water-borne diseases are likely to worsen within local authorities’ suburbs. The policy orientation thrust on water in Zimbabwe is still anchored on Millennium Development Goals at the expense of the component of sustainability that defines Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.

Rwambiwa said her organisation was urging the government to prioritise potable water provision “demonstrated through a meaningful national budget allocation to water by government”.

“We recommend that the policy orientation thrust on water should be designed to achieve better outcomes for the multiple goals of poverty reduction, food water energy security, biodiversity conservation and climate resilience,” she said.

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