Government commits to water sector viability


PRESIDENT Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has declared his Government’s commitment towards honouring the rights and protection of investments at law in his call for local and foreign investment into the water sector.
He was speaking during the launch of the recently held Water Resources Infrastructure Investment Conference and launch of the National Climate Policy in Harare on Monday.
Said President Mnangagwa:
“Let me reiterate that as Government, we are committed to honouring the rights of investors, including the protection of their investment at law.
“Under the new political dispensation, we observe and respect the rights of investors, property rights and as Government, we are prepared to listen to investor concerns and address them with the aim of producing win-win solutions.
“This is a commitment we pledge never to drift from.”
President Mnangagwa said Government is cognisant of the nexus between water availability and the upholding of human dignity, poverty eradication, gender equality, hunger eradication, good health, climate change and sustainable communities. He said there is an urgent and compelling need for mitigation and adaptation of initiatives to address the effects of the global climate change phenomenon that has not spared Zimbabwe.
“To this end, this investment conference will undoubtedly go a long way towards harnessing both domestic and foreign direct investment into water infrastructure development in our quest to address the multi-faceted challenges and needs in the water sector,” said President Mnangagwa.
“I am also pleased to be launching the National Climate Policy which spells out how we plan to mitigate the effects of climate change on our environment, human, animal and plant life.
“Government, under its agriculture programmes, needs at least 350 000 hectares of arable land under irrigation.
“To achieve this, we need adequate water bodies throughout the country which will assure national food security as well as beneficiation and export of surplus produce.
“To this end, Government urges that investment into water infrastructure development must be seen within the context of the broader economic vision of our country.
“Furthermore, the need for safe and clean water cannot be overemphasised as lives have been lost to waterborne diseases and economic opportunities restricted due to limited water infrastructure.”
Effects of climate change, said President Mnangagwa, combined with water infrastructure gaps, present a real threat against efforts to transform the economy and consequently people’s lives.
He said the manufacturing, tourism and health sectors all need water, which is also used to generate hydro-electricity.
Due to its diversified uses, said President Mnangagwa, water is a key enabler for industrial development.
Said President Mnangagwa: “We are specifically appealing to both local and foreign investors to invest in the water sector.
“I am advised that there is a selection of over 30 projects in need of funding, which investors can choose from.
“These projects present multi-billion dollar opportunities for you as investors.
“The completion of the various projects will bring our water storage capacity to over 70 billion cubic metres, thereby providing us with a buffer stock against droughts.
“My Government has given all the projects being showcased the national project status.”
Speaking during the same event, the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, said the conference was aimed at wooing investment into the water sector.
Said Min Muchinguri-Kashiri: “The conference is trying to woo investors the world over, whose pockets are deep and who now realise that water is no longer just a social good but an economic good too.
“It also provides business opportunities in water resources development under this symbiotic arrangement.
“The Government puts a lot of emphasis on the need to manage our water resources if we are to attain Africa’s 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
“This investment conference is a deliberate move to respond to the dictates and obligations placed upon us in terms of Sustainable Development Goal Number Six on water and sanitation and Goal Number 13 on climate action in particular.
“We are looking at various investment structures such as the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT), Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) just to mention a few.
“The new Zimbabwe national climate policy has been crafted from the national climate change response strategy and this policy seeks to guide Zimbabweans on how to adapt, mitigate and build resilience against the impacts of climate change.”


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