By Tendai Munengwa
WORLD Water Day commemorations which took centre stage this Tuesday have drawn the attention of policy makers towards addressing issues affecting the availability of safe and clean drinking water.
The need to invest in the preservation of existing water bodies and underground water sources came under the spotlight at this Tuesday’s World Water Day Commemorations in Harare.
UNESCO Representative at the commemorations, Professor Lidia Arthur Brito was clear on the pollution threats to underground water sources, and how the organisation is supporting provision of safe drinking water through a five million United States Dollar funding.
“I am happy to inform you that the groundwater project which was developed by UNESCO on behalf of Zimbabwe was recently approved by the adaptation fund. This 5 million USD project entitled; strengthening local communities’ adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change through sustainable groundwater utilisation in Zimbabwe, will be implemented by UNESCO and executed by Ministry of agriculture over a period of four years,” explained Professor Brito.
The Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Honourable Douglas Karoro delivered the second republic’s vision to harness groundwater in line with this year theme: Groundwater – Making the Invisible Visible.
“This year’s commemorations are coming at a time when groundwater is playing an increasingly important role to our quest as a country to fulfil our obligation under SDGs, which compels member states to put in place solid measures and plans for the reduction of the number of people lacking access to clean and safe water. Leveraging on the groundwater resources we have embarked on journey to sink 35 thousand boreholes for rural communities and 9 600 for schools across the country,” said the deputy minister.
The World Water Day comes at a time when access to portable water has been a challenge in most urban areas.