Zimbabwe- experiences with multiple uses in three districts in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe- experiences with multiple uses in three districts in Zimbabwe

TitleZimbabwe- experiences with multiple uses in three districts in Zimbabwe
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of PublicationSubmitted
AuthorsKatsi L, Siwadi J, Guzha E, Smits FSMakoni

This paper, which was presented at the WaterNet/WARFSA/GWP symposium in November 2006 in Lilongwe, explores experiences with multiple uses of water at community level in three districts in Zimbabwe. It concludes that technology is a key factor in this, as it determines amounts of water that people can access, and hence the uses water can be put to.

Full Text

Water with all its multiple uses plays a pivotal role in the sustenance of rural livelihoods, especially the poor. As such, the provision of water which go beyond domestic to include water for small-scale productive uses should be encouraged to enhance peoples’ livelihood options by making significant contribution to household income, food security, improved nutrition and health. All these multiple benefits, if combined can assist in the fight against hunger and poverty.

This study was conducted in Mashonaland East province, covering Marondera, Murehwa and Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe districts in Zimbabwe for the period December 2005 to May 2006 to assess factors which affect multiple uses of water and their impact on the sustainability of rural water supply sources. Participatory Rural Appraisal tools such as discussions, observations and interviews were used for data collection. The survey found that people indeed require water for productive purposes apart from domestic uses, which are often given top priority. The study found out that multiple uses of water at household level can be affected by segmentation of water services into "domestic" and "productive" water supply schemes, technology and system design, water quality and quantity and distance to water sources among other factors.

The study recommends that water service providers to be able to provide appropriate, efficient and sustainable services, they should understand and appreciate the livelihood needs and priorities of the communities they serve. This calls for the need for harmonization and coordination of water service providers to best respond to communities’ multiple water demands.