The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
CABINET has approved that all dams in the country be gazetted as protected areas in a bid to ensure sustainability and law enforcement.
This comes at a time the Bulawayo City Council has raised concern over illegal gold panners that have invaded some of their supply dams causing siltation in the process affecting their carrying capacity.
Speaking during a post-cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said a number of measures had been agreed on by Cabinet to help in managing water infrastructure in the country.
“Cabinet approved that, in line with the Whole of Government Approach, water sector coordination be enhanced through strengthening the existing Department of WASH and Pollution Coordination and that all dams will be gazetted as protected areas to ensure sustainability and law enforcement.
“It was also agreed that, in order to ensure cost recovery tariffs for both clear and raw water, Local Authorities and ZINWA will continue to review and align their tariff structure to ensure sustainability in maintaining water infrastructure and supply services, with the tariffs being approved by Cabinet before implementation to ensure alignment from an affordability point of view,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
The Minister also revealed that Cabinet approved that water management authorities should take urgent steps to implement innovative revenue generation measures for approval by Cabinet.
“Cabinet further approved that there be strict enforcement of compliance with sound environmental management in dam construction and management of existing dams in view of climate change, biodiversity loss and adverse social impacts.
“It was also agreed that further institutional and structural reforms be explored to attract the private sector investment in dam construction; and that the review and alignment of the Water Act and the ZINWA Act be expedited to modernize them and enhance developments in the water sector in pursuit of Vision 2030,” said the Minister.