ENVIRONMENT minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri yesterday said the government was alarmed at the high levels of pollution in most of the country’s rivers, adding there was urgent need for all stakeholders to resolve the crisis before the country experiences another water-related epidemic such as cholera.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Addressing delegates at the second edition of the water, sanitation, hygiene and energy conference (WASHen 2015) in Bulawayo yesterday, Muchinguri-Kashiri said her ministry was seized with the matter, but the problem was in implementation.
“Government is greatly concerned about the high level of pollution of drinking water and my ministry has crafted a water policy to address some of those issues. However, the challenge is in the implementation, as there are many players involved,” she said.
In a speech read on his behalf, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa said issues of sanitation needed to be addressed.
He said the country does not have enough toilets.
“Regrettably, it has often been said that there are more cellphones per unit area in Zimbabwe and other African countries than toilets or ablution facilities,” Mnangagwa said.
“To counter the challenges…there is need for joint efforts between the government, private sector, individuals and research institutions to come up with innovative solutions to mitigate the challenges. I am aware that there is a lot of significant work that is currently taking place on the ground.”
Mnangagwa said he believed that such work could be enhanced through research like in developed countries.
He said water, sanitation and sustainable energy are at the core of development in Zimbabwe and the government should explore new ways and avenues to tackle basic needs for resources.
Running under the theme Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Development, WASHen 2015 presented a platform to take stock of where
WASHen is organised by ZITF Company in conjunction with SNV Zimbabwe.