Water insecurity in Zimbabwe’s towns and cities: Challenge for institutions
Tumbare, M. J.
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There is widespread concern over water insecurity in most towns and cities in Zimbabwe. Some households have gone for years without receiving water yet most reservoirs supplying such towns or cities have been recording decent storage levels throughout the years. This suggests that the collapse of water service provision in the country is not related to shortage of quality raw water, but indicates dilapidation of water infrastructure due to a combination of lack of maintenance, lack of timely investments in infrastructure and general collapse of the water governance structures. In the absence of reliable and safe water sources, communities resort to unsafe sources of water resulting in increased exposure to diseases. The related collapse of wastewater treatment systems has also resulted in many towns and cities discharging almost untreated sewage into public watercourses. Within these municipalities are institutions that also rely on reliable municipal water supplies. Such institutions include schools, colleges, hospitals, clinics and hotels which house large concentrations of populations at given times. Failure to secure reliable and safe water for such institutions threatens operations and may even expose such populations to diseases related to poor sanitation and hygiene. Institutions are therefore increasingly seeking own secure sources of water with groundwater being the immediate option. This paper supports the development of groundwater sources to improve institutional water security but also recommends that such options should be operated as emergency alternative sources to guarantee water security in the event of failure by traditional sources. However, this should be accompanied by strict monitoring of abstractions and water quality so as to safeguard human and environmental health.
Additional Citation InformationMakurira, H. & Tumbare, M. J. (2014). Water insecurity in Zimbabwe’s towns and cities: challenges for institutions, Journal of Science Engineering and Technology, Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers, 1(2). 48-55.
SponsorZimbabwe Institution of Engineers
Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers