Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Government yesterday received sewer cleaning vehicles, domestic and commercial water meters and other associated equipment worth more than $3,5 million from the Zimbabwe Multi Donor Trust Fund. The Trust Fund is embarking on the second phase of its Water and Sanitation Programme in Zimbabwe. The phase will see the African Development Bank (AfDB) administered fund releasing $36 million for reinforcement of water distribution and waste water collection systems in Harare and four other cities.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said water and sanitation were at the core of sustainable development and were critical to the survival of people.
She said continued investment in water supply and sanitation services generated a number of economic environmental socio benefits.
“Access to clean drinking water and sanitation reduces health risks and frees enough time for education and other productive activities, as well as increases the productivity of the labour force,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.
“Safe disposal of waste water, which is grey and black water, helps to improve the quality of surface water, with benefits for the environment, as well as for economic sectors that depend on water as a resource.
“Government of Zimbabwe, therefore, greatly values enormous contribution from the Zimfund donors that is aimed at improving service delivery to our country’s citizens.
“The cleaning equipment we received today comprises of sewer cleaning trucks, utility tractor and laboratory equipment, water meters, sewer pipes, among others.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the operations vehicles would facilitate emergency responses to reports from the public, while the tankers would increase local authorities’ capabilities to deal with blockages.
Among the equipment were sewer cleaning vehicles and equipment worth more than $1 million, domestic and commercial water meters worth more than $1 million, sewer maintenance tools worth more than $400 000, laboratory equipment worth more than $142 000, and spare pipes and fittings worth more than $399 000.
In a speech read on his behalf by his deputy Christopher Chingosho, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said the generous donation of equipment, vehicles, associated tools and vacuum tankers was highly appreciated by the Government and people of Zimbabwe.
“For many years, local authorities have been severely handicapped in the effective delivery of their mandate due to limited resources and capacity constraints,” he said.
“Due to lack of preventive regular maintenance, most of the water and sanitation infrastructure had fallen into disrepair characterised by aged and overloaded infrastructure, perennial breakdowns, inadequate resources such as sewer cleaning vehicles, laboratory equipment, among others.”
African Development Bank group officer-in-charge, Zimbabwe country office, Ms Mary Monyau commended Government for identifying water and sanitation as key priorities within the national policies and strategies.