Availability of water in both urban and rural areas is a critical subject that is inevitably linked to national economic and social development. It is precisely for this reason that the Government of Zimbabwe through the ZINWA Act (Chapter 20:25) mandated the Zimbabwe National Water Authority to, among other functions, be responsible for the optimum planning, management and development of water resources in the country.
However, it is imperative to recognise the crucial role played by local authorities in ensuring that our cities and towns have water.
The importance of understanding the relationship between ZINWA and local authorities in connection with the provision of water can therefore, self-evidently never be overemphasised.
It is vital that people acquire proper understanding of the roles ZINWA and local authorities play towards the water situation in various parts of the coun- try.
Failure to identify and separate the roles of ZINWA from those of local authorities has created a lot of confusion and as a result, more often than not, all water-related misgivings have unfairly been blamed on ZINWA.
It is vital for residents in any city, town or growth point to know who, between ZINWA and the local authority, is responsible especially for treatment and reticulation of water in their area.
Whilst ZINWA is responsible for the overall management of water resources in the country, it is crucial to understand how the discharge of that mandate is linked to internal operations of local authorities.
The relationship between ZINWA and local authorities varies depending on whether or not the local authority has the capacity to manage the treatment and reticulation of water for its area of jurisdiction.