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Reflections from Zimbabwe

By Robert Apunyo - MIWM 2010

I am in Zimbabwe working for an Organization Promoting Constituency development by enhancing the Capacity of Zimbabwean Parliamentarians and other Constituency stakeholders to perform their roles and functions. If you may remember, in 2008 Zimbabwe underwent a turbulent political and economic meltdown in part due to international economic sanctions the country was subjected to. At one time this brought urban water supply to a halt, sparking of the cholera epidemic that especially ravaged the urban areas in 2008. Since then, the urban water supply has remained intermittent … Water rationing is thus used as a ‘water demand management strategy’. Generally IWRM has suffered tremendous drawbacks and the situation is not likely to improve in the near future.

In Zimbabwe, I spent the first five months working in the governance area. However, in December 2010 we organized an exchange visit for the two major city councils to promote reciprocal learning. IWRM and in particular water supply and conservation ranked the major concern of both urban authorities which are desperately looking for solutions to fix their water supply deficiencies. The irony is that there is no current data to guide sustainable reforms in the water sector due to lapses resulting from the country’s terrible experience. We are therefore designing a study of Harare City’s water supply situation to highlight the current problems in the sector so as to inform policy and institutional review. I am optimistic this will lead to the development of a water demand management strategy for the City. Certainly, the IWC - MIWM training is applicable to this situation particularly the last PBL which focused on: Analyzing SEQ Water Grid and Water Demand Management strategy.

 

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