Environment, water and climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri has said the government is still mobilising funds for the drilling of boreholes in needy areas such as Hwange West.
Speaking in parliament Muchingura said the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate administers a Water Fund which is financed by levies from raw water users.
“The Fund is taking time to accumulate substantial resources owing to reduced agricultural water use and refusal to pay by some farmers,” he said. ” However, when adequate funds become available in the Water Fund, needy areas in the country requiring boreholes such as the Hwange West Constituency will be considered for allocation of funds to drill boreholes by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate.”
The minister said the MP may also recall that Government through a Belarus facility negotiated by Government will purchase several rigs which will sink boreholes throughout the country.
‘In addition, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate will continue submitting PSIP bids for funding of rural water supply projects including for Hwange West Constituency,” said the minister.
“On the drying up of dams, mainly small dams that are dotted across the country due to siltation, this is an issue which the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate is seized with. The Ministry through ZINWA is looking into the feasibility of de-silting these dams which have silted up. Each of the seven catchments has been tasked to do a mapping exercise of silted dams to be de-silted in the catchment this year.”
She said it is important to note that financial resources are required to execute such a programme and at the moment the Ministry is mobilising the required resources.
“However, Hon. Members are also encouraged to mobilise communities and development partners in their respective areas to also complement Government efforts in de-silting the dams,” she said.
“A Committee has been set by Government in ZINWA to address drought mitigation issues. The Committee shall attend to emergency issues if funds are available under the anticipated US$1.5 billion drought mitigation fund. This Committee will look into the drying up of dams and come up with the appropriate action to mitigate on the silting of dams.”
She said the Ministry together with other relevant departments like EMA, AREX and local authorities, is carrying out awareness campaigns to educate communities on the need to protect our dams from siltation through, good agricultural practices which, among other things include avoidance of stream bank cultivation.
” At this juncture, I wish to thank Government for putting in place an inter-ministerial committee to come up with a master plan which addresses the issue of proper land-use. Rampant deforestation especially in the dam basins and
Settlements on wetlands,” she said.