Mukudzei Chingwere in Jakarta, Indonesia
The Presidential Rural Development Programme launched in 2021 has given Zimbabwe the much needed impetus in its quest towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6), Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister, Dr Anxious Masuka has said.
He made the remarks while addressing global colleagues at the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Sector Ministers Meeting here in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga is leading Zimbabwe’s delegation at the meeting where he delivered a keynote address on Wednesday and counselled colleagues to prioritise WASH services.
SDG6 speaks to the need for universal access to safe and affordable drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, and ending open defaecation, dovetailing with President Mnangagwa’s vision of leaving no one and no place behind, as a prerequisite for an upper middle-income society.
Zimbabwe envisages attaining an upper middle-income status by 2030 and in his address Dr Masuka highlighted Zimbabwe’s progress which has been boosted by the Presidential Borehole Drilling Scheme.
“To quicken the development pace, Government in 2021 launched a Presidential Rural Development Programme targeting drilling and solar powering 35 000 borehole countrywide for multiple uses, with 50 drilling rigs having been procured to date. Additionally the 9 600 schools will each have a borehole drilled.
“For urban areas, targeted investment in raw water supply systems in water scarce regions will ensure our urban areas will be water secure for the next 20 years.”
Minister Masuka said the sector has registered some notable improvement in public WASH investment from 3,02 percent in 2020 to 3,17 percent in 2021 and 3,05 percent of national budget in 2022. He said as a percentage of the capital budget, WASH allocation rose from 7,74 percent in 2020 to 10,17 percent in 2021 and 8,44 percent in 2022.
“Cabinet has an office for monitoring and evaluation manned by a minister to ensure there is regular follow-up on project performance. With these efforts, Zimbabwe is confident that sustainable development goal 6 realisation is possible in our lifetime,” said Minister Masuka.
Finance and Economic Development Deputy Minister Clemence Chiduwa said efforts done by Zimbabwe have been funded by the Treasury though he noted some development partners have supported in other areas.
He noted that to maintain a sustainable funding for WASH services there is need for economic stabilisation which unfortunately is being blighted by global shocks like Covid-19 and disturbances occasioned by the Russian and Ukraine conflict.
Local Government and Publics Works Deputy Minister Mariam Chombo also spoke of the investment into ensuring the availability of water in both rural and urban areas which aided in the country’s response to Covid-19.
Nepal’s Minister of Water Supply, Umakant Chaudhary publicly commended Zimbabwe’s efforts and said they have a sustainable model which should be taken as a model by other countries.
The two countries are now working on bilateral collaboration and further engagements will be confirmed soon.
The Kingdom of Lesotho’s Minister of Water, Kemiso Mosenene said his country will send a team to Zimbabwe to among other things learn it’s processes in WASH services.
“We will learn a lot from the information system they are using. We are sending a delegation to Zimbabwe to learn information system and policy practice,” said Minister Mosenene.