HARARE, June 2 – The Zimbabwe government will hold a Water Infrastructure Investment Conference from June 24 to 26 to engage foreign investors and the private sector for partnerships to complete various projects which have stalled for lack of funding over the years, says Environment, Water and Climate Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

Stating that the lack of funding had been hampering the provision of water as the government had been funding most of the projects, he added here Monday: “The government has been the principal funder of all water-related infrastructure projects ranging from dams, pipelines, water and waste treatment plants through the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP).

“At times, the government would get some assistance from international co-operation agencies but there has not been significant investment in water infrastructure from the private sector.”

Kasukuwere said the government had now decided to engage foreign investors and the private sector to assist in reducing the burden. “The government has found it prudent to engage investors and private sector for partnership so as to complete various water infrastructure projects around the country and these will include Brazilian and Chinese investors,” he added.

Projects which have stalled include the National Matebeleland-Zambezi Water Project which requires 1.4 billion US dollars and the Kunzvi-Musami Dam which requires 865 million USD.

The government also plans to drill 20 boreholes and a 7.5-kilometre pipeline under the Epping Forest (Nyamadhlovu Aquifer) project to boost water supplies in the city of Bulawayo.

Over the years due to funding challenges through the PSIP new water infrastructure projects have failed to take off completely while those with work in progress have been taking more time than expected to complete. This has seen the government losing millions of dollars in costs related to delays in completing the projects while communities have had to grapple with shortage of water.