Zim makes progress  in water management Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Tajikistan Prime Minister Qohir Rasulzoda pose for a photo before their meeting on the sidelines of the ongoing Dushanbe Water Process Third High-Level International Conference on the International Decade for Action of Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan yesterday. — Picture: Mukudzei Chingwere.

Mukudzei Chingwere in DUSHANBE, Tajikistan 

ZIMBABWE is accelerating the implementation of the Water Action Decade under the pillars of governance, financing, data and information, innovation and capacity development as provided for in Sustainable Development Goal Six, Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga said yesterday.

He was addressing the Third High-Level International Conference for the International Decade for Action of Water for Sustainable Development between 2018-2028. 

At this global conference, the international community is taking stock of progress made in implementing the voluntary commitments of the Water Action Agenda, and outcomes of the United Nations 2023 Water Conference.

VP Chiwenga said Zimbabwe had domesticated SDG Six into the National Development Strategy 1, the country’s economic blueprint aimed at creating an empowered upper-middle-income society by 2030.

Four thematic areas addressed under NDS1 were: food and nutrition; health and well-being; housing delivery; and infrastructure and utilities.

“The Government of Zimbabwe is committed to the targets of sustainable and safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

“We are accelerating the implementation of the Water Action Decade under the pillars of governance, financing, data and information, innovation and capacity development as provided for in Sustainable Development Goal Six,” said the Vice President.

He said Vision 2030 recognises WASH as a constitutional right. 

“To implement the Sustainable Development Goal Six on Water and Sanitation, our National Development Strategy 1 ensures the provision of water within the four thematic areas.

“To operationalise the thematic areas, an inter-ministerial national action committee on water, sanitation and hygiene focusing on a whole-of-government approach to sector coordination and WASH service delivery was constituted.

“The national action committee structure is decentralised to sub-national levels at provincial, district, ward and village levels, to ensure that no one and no place is left behind,” said VP Chiwenga.

A WASH sector working group was established to bring together Government, co-operating partners, non-governmental and civil society organisations, as well as the private sector to engender well-coordinated service delivery and collective accountability on sector targets and commitments.

VP Chiwenga said there had been significant progress in the WASH sector in Zimbabwe.

“The last WASH services assessment, conducted by the Zimbabwe Livelihoods Assessment Committee in 2023, noted an increase in access to clean water in rural areas to 84 percent and, sanitation in urban areas to 80 percent.

“The Government-funded Presidential Rural Development Programme will ensure that all 35 000 villages and 10 000 schools in the country are water-secure for human consumption and productive uses.

“Twelve major dams have been constructed since 2018 to increase water supply, hydro-energy, climate-proofed agriculture, eco-tourism and fisheries. 

“The Government will continue to construct dams as well as revitalise existing ones as a mitigation and adaptation strategy to climate change, and serve as critical pivots for rural development.” 

VP Chiwenga said the Government’s strategy was premised on enabling and spurring agricultural production, leading to rural industrialisation and a total of US$2 billion had been committed to that end. He called on UN member states to honour their voluntary commitments to drive progress towards SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation.

Meanwhile, VP Chiwenga yesterday paid a courtesy call on Tajikistan Prime Minister Qohir Rasulzoda on the sidelines of the conference. 

Speaking after the engagement, VP Chiwenga said Zimbabwe and Tajikistan were undergoing more or less the same economic reconfiguration that had resulted in economic growth towards empowered upper-middle income societies, adding that there was scope for closer cooperation. 

The two countries’ foreign ministries were scheduled to meet soon to lay out modalities of exchanges and tapping from each other’s experiences. 

Yesterday’s meeting followed another one between VP Chiwenga and Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon on Monday where economic cooperation and investment were discussed. 

“We had a good meeting with the Prime Minister of Tajikistan and we discussed areas where we would want to cooperate with Tajikistan.

“We have almost the same economies based on agriculture and mining and as discussed with President Rahmon, we are going to deepen our relations,” said VP Chiwenga.

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