By Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor
ZIMBABWE is targeting 80% access to potable water by 2025 as it moves towards achieving United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number Six of providing access to safe and clean drinking water.
This came out at Day two of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sectors Ministers meeting underway in Jakarta, Indonesia, which saw various countries, including Zimbabwe, pledging their commitment towards the provision of safe drinking water.
“Our commitment Number 1 is to develop, launch and roll out a national strategy to reduce open defecation from 21.7% to 9% by 2025,” said Dr Anxious Masuka, the Minister of Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development.
“Commitment Number 2 is to achieve 80% access to potable water by 2025. Thrust with the sector is on water safety and security through public community private sector partnerships for development and operations and maintenance.
“Commitment 3 is sustainable public finance-led funding of the sector over the two national development strategy cycles (2021-25 & 2025-30).
“Women and girls are being affected by the unavailability of water and as a country we are committing to ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water.”
Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honourable Clemence Chiduwa reaffirmed government’s commitment towards funding water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives.
“As the Ministry of Finance of Zimbabwe we support WASH programmes and we actually have a budgetary allocation towards ensuring that our citizens have access to safe drinking water. The budget stands at over 3%,” said deputy minister Chiduwa.
Over the past five years, the government of Zimbabwe has embarked on several projects to ensure its citizens have access to safe drinking water, including the Presidential Rural Development Programme which will see 35 000 boreholes being sunk countrywide, with 50 drilling rigs having been procured.