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Government has established a committee to work towards improvement of water supply and disposal of waste water in urban areas to reduce disease outbreaks, President Mugabe has said.

Addressing thousands of people at the main Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on Friday, President Mugabe said Government was working with its development partners on this because water and sanitation were critical sectors.

“Nyaya yemvura nenyaya yetsvina mudhorobha, inyaya iyoyo iri kurwadza hurumende and we will discuss it,” he said.

“Action is being taken and a committee has been set in Government to look at all the cities in regard to water and sewage. We do this as an act of emergency.

“These are urgent, very urgent issues that should be managed quickly as any delay in managing that will result in some of our people being affected by diseases and death will result from that.

“So don’t think Government is not looking at problems that worry you. We are looking at it but as we look at the problem we expect people to discharge all their individual responsibilities.”

President Mugabe said US$43,6 million had been allocated for the first phase of the project under the Urgent Water Supply and Sanitation Project, ZimFund.

He said the facility targeted improving water supply and sanitation in Harare, Chitungwiza, Mutare, Masvingo, Kwekwe and Chegutu.

The second phase — launched in March — covers Ruwa and Redcliff.

“Fourteen small towns’ water suppliers and waste water treatment plants are also being rehabilitated,” he said.

Some 10 000 existing boreholes are being rehabilitated, while 1 500 new ones are being drilled with 1 000 toilets and 30 piped water schemes constructed, President Mugabe said.

Most of Harare’s suburb’s experience erratic water supplies that force residents in the south western suburbs to resort to unprotected sources.

Those in the northern suburbs have learnt to live off boreholes or buy borehole water in bulk, delivered by water bowsers.

Source : The Herald