via Water regulations authority mooted | The Herald May 2, 2015
Government wants to come up with a Water and Wastewater Services Regulatory Authority that will, among other things, ensure that local authorities charge residents affordable water tariffs and closely monitor the discharge of waste to reduce environmental pollution.
Environment, Water and Climate Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said the authority will also determine the exact number of Zimbabweans who have access to water sanitation services and make sure the poor were also serviced.
Speaking during the commissioning of a $4,8 million Urgent Water Supply and Sanitation Rehabilitation Project bankrolled by Zim-Fund in Masvingo recently, Minister Kasukuwere said Government was concerned with the rampant discharge of untreated wastewater.
He said almost 80 percent of wastewater discharged in cities and towns in the country was either untreated or partially treated as most treatment systems were not functional.
“It is our hope that the introduction of the regulator will leave central Government to concentrate on statutory and executive functions such as policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation together with research and development,’’ he said.
“For service providers, the regulator will mean predictable periodic tariff adjustments, fewer days for tariff approvals that are both cost reflective and sustainable, and for ratepayers, the regulator will provide a platform for complaint resolution as well as general empowerment.’’
Minister Kasukuwere appealed to Zimbabweans to embrace the new authority.
“The regulatory authority will deal with customers’ complaints to make sure that they are sufficiently addressed and also determine whether or not the set tariffs are affordable and cover the full cost of service,” he said.
“The issue of whether water being supplied will be of good quality and fit for human consumption will also be dealt with.’’
Minister Kasukuwere implored residents in towns and cities to pay up their water bills to enable local authorities to supply them with clean water.
Most local authorities are owed millions of dollars by residents who fail to pay their water bills, a situation that has compromised service delivery, especially in major cities and towns.
Most local authorities have also been under fire from environmentalists for discharging raw sewage into rivers, endangering both human and aquatic life.