Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
IT IS anticipated that the population of Harare will increase to five million in 10 years time and there is need to urgently upgrade its infrastructure to meet demand, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has said.
She was speaking at the launch of the Zimbabwe International Hydrological Programme National Committee in Harare last week.
Currently, Harare has close to two million residents.
The committee is expected to proffer solutions for effective and sustainable water resource management.
“It is projected that Harare alone will grow to a population of about five million in the next 10 years. As a result, water supply and waste management in many of our communities is being strained and we compound this with the increasing number of residential areas and households,” she said.
Poor planning in Harare has seen the city failing to provide basic needs to residents like clean water.
The development has led to the outbreak of cholera and typhoid.
The MDC-T run Harare City Council has also been failing to repair roads and collect garbage on time.
The situation has been worsened by corruption and looting of council resources by management at town house.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the country’s population was also growing fast putting pressure on available resources.
“It implies that the efficiency of our grey infrastructure is stretched to its limits and becomes compromised because it was not built to sustain 14 million people,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.
At independence Zimbabwe had less than eight million people, but the population is now estimated at 14 million.
“We are living in dangerously as Zimbabweans. Our people are exposed to water-borne diseases such as typhoid, cholera and dysentery because our local authorities fail to dispose grey and black water efficiently.
“Waste disposal, waste containment and sewerage facilities, both onsite and off-site is stretched to its limits.
“Our water sources such as rivers are continuously testing positive to raw sewer which again contaminates fish and our dams such as Chivero.”