Water is everyone’s responsibility

Since time immemorial water has been everyone’s responsibility given its life giving nature. Everyone in the community would ensure that water sources such as communal wells and rivers were protected from any form of disturbance. Everyone felt a sense of responsibility over the resource especially knowing that water belonged not only to the present generation but to future generations as well. Because of that, we, as the present generation inherited rivers and other water sources that still give us life.
However today, most people have neglected this very important duty of caring for the country’s water resources to ZINWA and other bodies mandated to help in the management of water. That ZINWA is mandated by the ZINWA Act and the Water Act to manage the country’s water resources is common cause, but the task can be made easier when members of the community also have a sense of responsibility and appreciation that water is also their responsibility.
All measures that ZINWA puts in place to manage water can only come to fruition when the public plays its part in ensuring that all water is protected from pollution, over-extraction and that water bodies are also protected from silting. People should also help protect water infrastructure against vandalism and other unnecessary destruction. This responsibility should extent to both surface and groundwater.
When such undesired practices occur, members of the public should report to ZINWA and other bodies such as sub catchment councils so that remedial action can be taken. The public should also protect their water resources by ensuring that they deal with water issues legally and desist from incentivising bad behaviour through dealing with people in illegal use of water. The recent penalisation of various bulk water dealers in Harare by ZINWA after they were netted in a joint operation involving ZINWA, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the sub catchment councils covering the capital is a case in point. The illegal activities of these bulk water dealers were going unnoticed and the organisations were surviving since there was a ready market for the services. This illegal abstraction of water can only stop when the public refuses to cooperate with errant bulk water dealers. While ZINWA appreciates the fact that residents in Harare are failing to access municipal water, residents should strive to deal with registered and legally operating bulk water suppliers.
These illegalities are not only happening in Harare and other urban areas but are also rampant on the farms where quite a number of people are illegally extracting water from rivers and dams for purposes of irrigation. In terms of the Water Act, such water use requires one to have a water permit or an agreement. The Authority has over the years battled to ensure that farmers use water legally and in terms of the provisions of the Water Act and the ZINWA Act but yet some farmers still illegally abstract the resource. Their activities subsist because at times the communities around them do not report the illegal water use to ZINWA or to the subcatchment councils in their areas. In some areas around the farms, people are cultivating too close to water sources resulting in rivers and dams being heavily silted much to the detriment of both present and future generations. However these illegal abstractions of water do only affect ZINWA, but they also affect the communities in the long run. For example the storage capacities of dams get compromised once the dam gets heavily silted. These illegal activities can only stop when the public feels a sense of responsibility and speaks strongly against them through reporting to ZINWA.
Unauthorised water use distorts ZINWA’s ability to properly plan and develop water resources since this unaccounted for water use dilutes the Authority’s capacity to gauge and determine present and future water demand. It also deprives those legally using water from enjoying their rights properly. Water agreements and permits are issued based on available water and current demand in the case of farmers and when illegal users emerge, they may end up eating into the provisions of those with the requisite water use documents.
In instances where groundwater is involved, illegal abstractions lead to the depletion of the water table, which adversely affect those boreholes legally drilled and whose owners are in lawful water use. The depletion of the water table will also lead to other consequences such as the incongruent recharging of surface water bodies.
In the end it is the community that suffers most from these illegal water use activities and the public needs to work closely with ZINWA and subcatchment councils to curb this worrying trend. Water is life and should hence be everyone’s responsibility.

8 thoughts on “Water is everyone’s responsibility

  1. Myengwa Joshua M Nyoni Reply

    Where can I can River System Operational Plans for Manyame, Gwayi and Mazowe Catchments?

    • Public Relations Reply

      Good day, may you either call or visit any of the Catchment offices and talk to any Hydrologist for assistance. Use the following

      1. Manyame Catchment 1st Floor Old Mutual House Sam Nujoma/ Speke Avenue Harare Tel: +263 4 702 124 Tel: +263 4 793 738/32 Fax: +263 4 702 124
      2. Gwayi Catchment 2nd Floor Mhlahlandela Government Complex P. O. Box 566 Bulawayo Tel: +263 9 693 61/3 Tel: +263 9 676 28 Fax: +263 9 771 09
      3. Mazowe Catchment 3rd Floor Old Mutual House Cnr Sam Nujoma Street & Speke Avenue Harare, Zimbabwe Tel: +263 4 738 781/3 Tel: +263 4 700953 Tel: +263 4 761 465/71 Fax: +263 4 791 594

      Thank you

      Public Relations Dept

  2. Myengwa Joshua M Nyoni Reply

    Where can I get copies of the RSOPS for Manyame, Gwayi and Mazowe Catchments please.
    Kindest regards
    Joshua M Nyoni

    • Shoriwa Tsungi Reply

      May you please liaise with our Mr Chari from the planning department and he will assist you in getting the copies. His number is 0773 270 770

  3. Runesu Gwidi Reply

    Can l have contacts eg phone and email of the public relations officer.
    My name is Runesu Gwidi . I am the herald correspondent based in Masvingo. It is my intention to sent a questionnaire to the authority on issues l think are of public interest.

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