Water, sanitation plan on the way

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Government is working on funding mechanisms to rehabilitate water and sewer infrastructure in urban areas.

This was said by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa while presenting the 24th Cabinet Meeting Decision Matrix yesterday.

“Cabinet notes with concern the dilapidated state of water and sanitation infrastructure in most of our urban local authorities,” she said.

“This unsavoury state of affairs puts the health of our citizens at high risk of disease outbreaks. Government is currently working on modalities to raise funding for the wholesale rehabilitation and construction of the necessary infrastructure. Government also calls on all local authorities to prioritise this programme for the good of our citizens.”

Population increases in urban areas has put a strain on existing water and sewer infrastructure most of which was designed for small populations.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Prof Mthuli Ncube said they were still to come up with the final figures that would be needed for the revamp.

“We are working out the details of the quantum in terms the resources required, but our preference when raising resources is to launch an infrastructure bond,” he said.

“Why do we prefer an infrastructure bond instead of borrowing is because of the secondary benefit of deepening our capital markets because we don’t have adequate instruments in the financial sector for investors to spread their risk around. So with something like an infrastructure bond, we are adding a vital instrument into the capital.

“So we are working out the details and we will come back with the final figure.”

Minister Ncube also said local authorities must improve their revenue collection mechanisms to attract potential investors for their capital projects.

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