By Nyasha Mutena
In what will ease severe water shortages grappling Chitungwiza, a US$320 million dam project has been adopted and is expected to kickstart in due course.
This was announced during the Muda Dam stakeholders Feedback meeting organised by ActionAid Zimbabwe. Chitungwiza, the country’s third largest city in terms of population is currently receiving less than 100 mega litres of water per week instead of the allotted 490 mega litres. It does not have its own water source and works.
His Worship the Mayor Lovemore Maiko expressed high gratitude to the government for adopting Muda dam as a national project and urged partners to lobby for the prioritisation of the project in a Zoom stakeholder engagement meeting held on the 17th of June 2021.
“I am therefore grateful for this initiative aimed at rectifying this anomaly. We have tried our bit to address the challenge through the drilling of boreholes as a stop-gap measure; however they present a challenge in the face of COVID-19. We hope the ministry of finance can allocate some funds for the construction of the dam as some areas can go for weeks without water which is detrimental to the health of our residents,” he said.
“We need the buy in of the civic sector and resident associations to push government for prioritisation of Muda dam as there is dire need for water in Chitungwiza. Water is a fundamental human right which should be upheld,” he said.
Speaking during the feedback Zoom Stakeholder Meeting held on the 3rd of September 2021, Chitungwiza Municipality Public Relations Officer, Lovemore Meya said the project is now being developed from scratch following the setting aside of an earlier feasibility study conducted by a player in the private sector.
Also, from a Church’s perspective, Secretary for Pastors Fraternity in Chitungwiza, Pastor Matyora said there was a great need to employ tactics when advocating for this cause inorder to achieve the desired results whilst ensuring that all responsible stakeholders are engaged.
“Chitungwiza Municipality, through its members of Parliament to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee responsible for water issues in Chitungwiza have to be taken as a matter of urgency since the situation is dire and cannot rely on Harare, ” he said.
One of the participants, Happymore Chibvura applauded the effort that Chitungwiza Municipality has been putting towards pushing for the project to kickstart. He called for amplified voices across social media to expedite the release of funds for this project.
Action Aid Zimbabwe (AAZ) through its Global Platform initiative and Activista Zimbabwe has amplified the call for construction of Muda dam which is expected to abate water woes that have been crippling the dormitory town.
Activista’s Caroline Mutimbanyoka said the civic partners would work round the clock to lobby for the prioritisation of the project with the hope that an allocation can be made in the 2022 budget.