Operation to stop illegal bulk water trade

TEN companies and one individual have been penalised for various offences related to trade in bulk water as ZINWA moves to pull all stops against errant bulk water dealers.
The companies and the individual were netted in a joint operation between the ZINWA Groundwater Department and the Zimbabwe Republic Police. The operation ran from November 2 to November 11 2015.
ZINWA is mandated in terms of the Water Act and the ZINWA Act to protect and ensure the optimum utilisation of the country’s water resources.
The companies and the individual have since paid their penalties. The apprehension and penalisation of the companies was done in terms of Statutory Instrument 90 of 2013. One of the dealers will soon appear in court facing charges of contravening the same statutory instrument.
Apart from paying the penalties, the companies were also ordered to regularise their operations.
The offenses by the bulk water dealers ranged from pumping water from a stream without a permit, selling water from an illegal borehole, transporting bulk water without a licence, pumping water from unauthorised sources and transporting bulk water using unregistered trucks.
The joint operation between ZINWA and the police came up after ZINWA received reports of illicit trade in bulk water in Harare.
ZINWA would also like to warn all registered bulk water dealers in Harare who have not yet come to have their trucks endorsed as per the provisions of their licences, that they risk having the licences cancelled.
They are reminded that it a legal requirement to have their trucks endorsed as fit for the purpose of ferrying bulk water every three months.
In terms of the Statutory Instrument 90 of 2013 no persons “shall sell groundwater or surface water in bulk” without being registered with the Authority and any person who contravenes these legal provisions is liable to a fine not exceeding level eight or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or both.
The statutory instrument also stipulates the requirements for registration and the procedures for renewal of registration certificates. It also authorities ZINWA to carry out routine inspections of all bulk water companies.
It also compels all companies selling bulk water to submit records of their abstraction, the quality of their water and any other parameters that ZINWA may deem necessary.
Registered bulk water dealers should also strive to be compliant with the law by ensuring that they stick to the conditions on their permits and should desist from practices such as getting bulk water from unauthorised sources.
The Authority also appeals to those individuals selling bulk water dealers water from unauthorised boreholes to comply with the law and have their water sources registered.
While ZINWA fully appreciates and understand that difficulties people are facing due to the non availability of Harare municipal water in some suburbs residents are encouraged to buy bulk water from legally registered dealers. Members of the public are also urged to report any unauthorised dealings in bulk water to their nearest ZINWA offices.
The current measures by ZINWA in regulating the abstraction of groundwater are very important and will benefit the current and future generations in the long run.
Meanwhile, ZINWA also appeals to all registered bulk water dealers to start renewing their licences in anticipation of the coming year.
Renewing licences well before the end of the year will save the dealers from the inconveniences that come with late registration.

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