Prioritise water systems upgrade, councils told

Walter Nyamukondiwa in CHINHOYI

Local authorities have been urged to adopt a phased approach in implementing devolution funded projects that prioritise augmentation of water systems.

Most urban councils are failing to provide water to residents owing to obsolete equipment and diminished capacity to provide for growing populations.

Addressing a Zimbabwe Union of Journalists training workshop on increasing community access to information for journalists here, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Deputy Minister Jennifer Mhlanga said devolution funds should be used to ameliorate water challenges in communities.

The United Nation Children Education Fund (Unicef) says women and girls spend around 200 million hours a day collecting water worldwide.

“We cannot do anything without water and with devolution funds coming in, I challenge community leaders, councils and management to explain what they are doing with the money,” said Dep Minister Mhlanga.

“This must be the fifth and sixth disbursement and we are saying they should prioritise provision of water. They can channel the whole amount until the systems are properly in place.”

She said councils should prioritise a project, channel resources as they come until its complete and move to the next project.

Turning to journalists, she said, they should hold councils accountable and highlight the impact of failure to provide services on communities.

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