Government Updates Nation on Water, Sanitation, and Rural Development Efforts

In a recent briefing to the cabinet, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development, Hon. A.J. Masuka, provided updates on various initiatives under his purview, particularly focusing on water, sanitation, and rural development activities.

As Chairman of the National Action Committee on Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, Minister Masuka outlined the challenges and progress made in addressing water shortages and enhancing rural development across Zimbabwe.

The Minister began by addressing concerns over potential water shortages in both rural and urban communities, attributing them to the effects of the El Niño phenomenon on the 2023/24 rainfall season. However, he assured the nation that as of April 4, 2024, national dams were at a commendable 79.9% capacity, significantly surpassing the expected 71.7% for the month.

Highlighting ongoing dam construction projects, Minister Masuka informed the cabinet that significant progress had been made, with Lake Gwayi-Shangani in Matabeleland North reaching 70.2% completion and Kunzvi Dam in Mashonaland East Province at 47% completion. Priority would be given to completing Lake Gwayi-Shangani in 2024 to bolster water resources.

In terms of urban water supply, the Minister revealed that while 48.9% of monitored urban centers had a safe raw water supply for twenty-one months, efforts were underway to improve supply in others. Notably, ongoing works at Morton Jefray in Harare aimed to increase production to 520 mega litres per day, with substantial government funding allocated for the project.

Similarly, in Bulawayo, where water storage stood at 40.09%, efforts were being made to optimize water production. The government had invested in borehole drilling and allocated funds for the resuscitation of water supply systems to meet the city’s needs.

Turning to rural development, Minister Masuka disclosed plans to develop 10,000 Village Units by November 2024, with priority given to regions facing challenges. Through initiatives like the Presidential Rural Development Programme, boreholes had been drilled, and Village Business Units established, providing dividends to beneficiaries and driving transformation in rural communities.

In conclusion, the cabinet reiterated its commitment to prioritize water supply and rural development efforts across the country, underscoring the importance of these initiatives for national prosperity and well-being. As Zimbabwe continues its journey towards sustainable development, these measures are poised to make significant strides in improving livelihoods and fostering economic growth.

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