Unpacking and understanding ZINWA


The Zimbabwe National Water Authority is a state owned enterprise formed in 2000 and in terms of the ZINWA Act (Chapter 20:25) following the amalgamation of the Regional Water Authority and the Department of Water Development in the then Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development. Falling under the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, ZINWA is the Government’s water resources management lead agency. The Authority’s mandate is derived from the ZINWA Act and the Water Act (Chapter 20:24). The promulgation of the ZINWA Act was a culmination of protracted water sector reforms that sought to correct the imbalances that the Water Act of 1976 had brought and improve efficiency in the manner the country’s water resources were being managed.

ZINWA’s functions

Section 5 of the ZINWA Act spells out ZINWA’s functions as:
(a) To advise the Minister on the formulation of national policies and standards on—
(i) Water resources planning, management and development; and
(ii) Hydrology and hydrogeology; and
(iii) Dam safety and borehole drilling; and
(v) Water pricing
(b) Subject to the Water Act [Chapter 20:24], to assist and participate in or advise on any matter pertaining to the planning of the development, exploitation, protection and conservation of water resources; and
(c) To exploit, conserve and manage the water resources of Zimbabwe with the object of—
(i) Securing equitable accessibility and efficient allocation, distribution, use and development; and
(ii) Providing, in both the short and the long term, adequate water on a cost effective basis; and
(iii) Taking appropriate measures to minimise the impacts of droughts, floods or other hazards;
(d) To promote an equitable, efficient and sustainable allocation and distribution of water resources; and
(e) to encourage and assist local authorities in the discharge of their functions under the Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:13] and the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15] with regard to the development and management of water resources in areas under their jurisdiction and in particular, the provision of potable water and the disposal of waste water
(f) To ensure that catchment councils discharge their functions in accordance with the Water Act [Chapter 20:24]; and
(g) To encourage and assist catchment councils to plan and coordinate the development and management of water resources in areas under their jurisdiction;
(h) to operate and maintain any water works owned or managed by the Authority and to sell any water therefrom, to dispose of waste water, to construct boreholes and to provide design and construction services; and
(i) to provide, at such fee as the Authority may determine, all forms of assistance, including technical assistance, personnel, advisory and training, information and other services to the Government, local authorities and catchment councils in connection with the exploitation, development, management and distribution of water resources; and
(j) to undertake research, studies and develop a database on hydrological issues pertaining to or of interest to Zimbabwe and to publish the findings and any other data compiled by the Authority
(k) to conduct hydrological and geographical surveys and to produce plans, maps or other information necessary in the planning, development and exploitation of water resources and to publish any such surveys, plans, maps or other information; and
(l) To promote such mechanisms for the co-operative management of international water resources as the Minister may determine
(m) To carry out any function that may be conferred or imposed on the
Authority by or under this Act, the Water Act [Chapter 20:24], or any other enactment
Catchments and Service Centres.

In terms of the Water Act, the country is divided into seven regions for purposes of water resources management. These regions are called catchments and are named after the country’s seven major river systems namely Runde, Mazowe, Manyame, Sanyati, Mzingwane, Gwayi and Save. These catchments do not necessarily follow the country’s known administrative or political boundaries because water courses usually straddle across more than one province.

However, beginning January 2020, ZINWA has further decentralised its operations, further dividing the seven Catchments into 20 zones known as service centres. This development is in tandem with the Government’s current thrust on devolution and is meant to bring more efficiency to ZINWA’s operations. Each service centre brings together water supply stations and dams within the vicinity of each other to be managed as standalone units. The service centres are Harare, Bulawayo, Guruve, Murombedzi, Mt Darwin, Mutoko, Hwange, Lupane, Gwanda, Beitbridge, Nyanga, Rusape, Birchenough Bridge, Chivhu, Gokwe, Kwekwe, Zaka, Triangle, Chivi and Karoi.
For more information you can contact the Zinwa Corporate Communications and Marketing Department on [email protected] or follow us on Twitter @zinwawater. https://masvingomirror.com

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