The town of Marondera in Zimbabwe has been selected to participate in the African Water Facility (AWF) Integrated Urban Water Management Programme (IUWM), according to Saviour Kasukuwere, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate officially opening an IUWM workshop in Harare recently.
The IUWM meeting was convened in Harare by the AWF in collaboration with the Global Water Partnership-Southern Africa office in Zimbabwe.
The meeting brought delegates together to learn and understand issues around IUWM and to see the use of the concept in different municipalities and towns in Zimbabwe, starting with the town of Marondera, according to Minister Kasukuwere.
It is reliably understood that at the AWF Governing Council meeting held in November 2013 in Harare, the government of Zimbabwe expressed its interest to be included in the roll out of the “Cities of the Future” concept that encompasses IUWM principles which the AWF is pursuing with selected countries and partners.
Kasukuwere said that at the invitation of the government of Zimbabwe, the AWF subsequently fielded an identification mission in October 2014 to work with his ministry and other relevant agencies to identify an urban settlement to which IUWM planning principles could be successfully applied in Zimbabwe.
“Following preliminary discussions between the mission team and my officials on the principles of IUWM, the ministry selected Marondera municipality for the proposed AWF intervention,” Kasukuwere said.
He added that the choice of Marondera is based on prospects for substantial value addition in the face of dire needs for improved water supply and sanitation services in the municipality.
It is also reported that Marondera is the seventh largest town in Zimbabwe and has not received adequate external support like its contemporaries to revamp its water supply and sanitation services.
“Government of Zimbabwe has recently completed the Wenimbi pipeline project which has increased raw water supply to the city of Marondera highlighting the need to upgrade their water and wastewater treatment,” Kasukuwere said.
Kasukuwere also added that Zimbabwe under the Zim-Fund, a multi-donor trust fund has successfully undertaken the urgent water supply and sanitation rehabilitation project in six cities namely Harare, Chitungwiza, Mutare, Chegutu, Kwekwe and Masvingo.
Zim-Fund is currently being hosted by the African Development Bank (ADB) who have been in the country to support Marondera municipality through the AWF.
Kasukuwere added that the IUWM concept will be piloted in Marondera in Zimbabwe.
He added that the concept involves producing a master-plan which will not only service the current needs but also the future needs under severe stress from climate change.
“The plan is not only going to be only looking at delivering the traditional services, but will introduce holistic ideas where sewage will not be viewed as a waste but a resource. Sewage will transform from being a nuisance to a national resource. If we are able to utilise thousands of tonnes of garbage we produce and the wastewater we generate everyday into cash, l am sure our livelihoods as a nation will improve tremendously,” Kasukuwere said.
He also added that the IUWM concept is not entirely new to Zimbabwe since the country has had gardens and pastures being irrigated from raw water.
“What l am advocating for is for us to grab this concept and run with it since it can result in a viable business model that can actually create new cash flows and job opportunities for Zimbabwe,” Kasukuwere said.
Global Water Partnership Southern Africa which was formed in Zimbabwe in 2000 is working with the ministry of Environment, Water and Climate in implementing the Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP), a programme under the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW).
“Water has an economic and social vale in all its competing uses and should be allocated in an equitable manner, adopting pro-poor approaches. The value of water as a finite socio-economic resource is not fully appreciated at all levels of society. This leads to problems of sustainability of the resource and its associated services,” Kasukuwere said.