Zimbabwe: City of Harare Allocate 10.98 Percent of Its 2019 Budget to Water & Sanitation

4 December 2018
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In its 2019 budget presented by Councillor Luckson Mukunguma, City of Harare allocated $51 856 200 to water and sanitation against a total budget of $472 248 300. This is a milestone increment in budget allocation to water and sanitation for the past 10 years. Water and sanitation therefore got a 10,98% allocation of the total budget. Community Water Alliance advocated for a 10% budget allocation in a letter presented to Mayor of Harare Councillor Herbert Gomba.

City of Harare's capital budget stands at $125 981 600. The allocation on water and sanitation is 41,16% of the city's capital budget. We are glad that City of Harare has presented a water budget. The water account is expected to contribute $100 million in 2019 and the allocation given to water and sanitation is a positive move by the City of Harare.

Community Water Alliance however takes note of the following issues that need to be improved in the budget: Council budget allocation of $4,5 million on pre-paid water meters; City of Harare should first present a report on the pre-paid water meters pilot project before discussions on the issue. Our position as Community Water Alliance remains un-changed and we still maintain that pre-paid water meters on domestic premises are not the solution to water challenges; Loans on water constituting $44 million. As Community Water Alliance we demand "publishing of loan agreements or guarantees on water in line with Section 300(3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. We are aware that majority of water loans are secured through the Ministry of Finance; The price of water increased from 0,25c per cubic meter in 2017, to 0,40c per cubic meter in 2018, to the newly announced 0,70c per cubic meter in 2019. Whilst we appreciate the high costs on water purification and the tumbling bond note, we believe there are other methods to address the issue; We expect that City of Harare comply with Section 288(2)(a) of the Urban Councils Act, which obliges council to avail copies of budget estimates for public inspection.

Besides issues that need improvement as noted above, Community Water Alliance highly recommend City of Harare for presenting a WATER BUDGET. The allocation is a pointer to both progressive realization and fulfilment of the human right to water enshrined in Section 77(a) of Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) 2013.

Source: Community Water Alliance

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