Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Zamcom boosts Zim chances of drawing from Zambezi

Zamcom boosts Zim chances of drawing from Zambezi

Friday, 13 May 2011 08:29

THE constituting of the Zambezi Watercourse Commission (Zamcom) interim 
secretariat has boosted Zimbabwe’s chances of getting permission from 
riparian states to draw water from the Zambezi River.

Riparian states are countries connected to a river and those riparian to the 
mighty Zambezi River include Angola, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, 
Malawi, Tanzania, and Mozambique.

According to information from Zamcom, the secretariat which is based in 
Botswana would work toward achieving regional integration in sharing the 
treasured water resource of the Zambezi River basin.

The establishment of a permanent secretariat and other requisite organs of 
the commission are dependent on ratification of the agreement. Five 
countries have already ratified the agreement but it can only come into 
force after six of the eight riparian states ratify it.

The main objective of the Zamcom is to “promote the equitable and reasonable 
utilisation of the water resources of the Zambezi Watercourse as well as 
ensure the efficient management and sustainable development thereof”.

“The first responsibility of the secretariat is to coordinate the riparian 
states and inform them of the expected steps needing their support towards 
the realisation of the ultimate operationalisation of the Zamcom agreement 
and its vital governance organs.” Zamcom said in a statement.

The Zambezi watercourse is of particular importance in the region because it 
is shared by eight countries with a total population of over 50 million.

Water Resources and Development minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo was unavailable 
for comment but he revealed last year that Zimbabwe had formally approached 
other riparian countries to seek permission to draw water from the Zambezi.

The newly renamed National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project has long been 
touted as a permanent solution to the permanent water crisis in the 
Matabeleland region.

However, the water project has moved at a snail’s pace with no substantial 
developments in sight despite numerous cash injections by the government and 
several stakeholders over the years.

The ambitious project to pump water from the Zambezi, some 452 kilometres 
from Bulawayo, was first mooted in 1912 but has subsequently remained a pipe 
dream since successive governments abandoned it due to the high costs 
involved. — Staff writer.


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