Groundwater key to community empowerment

Staff Reporter

Government has undertaken to ensure that every citizen has access to water, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) which seeks to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.

It seeks to achieve this by tapping into the groundwater reservoirs.

This was revealed by the Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Hon Douglas Karoro, on the commemorations of the World Water Day.

“The commemorations are also coming at a period when the country, in its march towards the achievement of Vision 2030, is also exploring its groundwater resources for the realisation of a number of deliverables that include improved access to water for communities, food security, poverty alleviation and employment creation.

“Leveraging on our abundant groundwater resources, we have embarked on a very ambitious but highly achievable journey to drill 35 000 boreholes in the country’s eight rural provinces and a further 9 600 at schools through the District Development Fund by 2025,” said Deputy Minister Karoro.

The Deputy Minister also highlighted Government achievements in covering the water supply gaps in the urban areas, by augmenting water supplies to some of the towns such as Bulawayo that have been experiencing water shortages.

“With depressed inflows into the city’s major raw water source in the form of Mzingwane Dam, the groundwater resources from Nyamandovu and Epping Forest will provide the much needed cover for the country’s second capital, the Government is working on bringing on board the long term solution espoused by the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project,” Minister Karoro said.

The Deputy Minister further warned on unregulated drilling of boreholes in major towns and cities as it threatens groundwater resources and going forward, the Government shall be relooking at the existing groundwater policies and framework with a view to regulating borehole drilling, including drilling companies.

Meanwhile, the World Water Day was held under the theme, “Groundwater, Making the invisible visible.”