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Zimbabwe: Govt Must Prioritise Food, Water

Political analysts generally believe that a new government sets the tone of its rule in the first hundred days in office.

Zimbabweans too have adopted a similar stance, where they scrutinise their government very closely in that short period.

Unfortunately for Zimbabwe, the first 50 days have not given any hint as to what the new government’s priorities are. It is important to note that the country went 40 days without a government, meaning the new ministers really have to hit the ground running.

Zanu PF won the elections on the back of the pro-people policies it spelt out in its election manifesto; it must therefore follow through the promises it made.

There are two areas that need urgent attention and by which it will be judged on the hundredth day. About 2,2 million people are facing a food crisis and there is a water problem in urban areas, particularly in Harare and Bulawayo.

The food crisis has hit hard four provinces namely, Masvingo, Matabeleland North and South, and parts of the Midlands. The drier parts of Manicaland have not been spared either.

Government should move fast to import the staple maize and ensure it is equitably distributed in these areas. Since Zanu PF swept these provinces in the elections, it is hoped the distribution would be done in a non-partisan manner.

Government should also address the question of a permanent solution to the perennial food shortages in these areas.

The same should be said for cities and towns that have been hit by the shortage of water.

In the capital, Harare, the water shortage is mainly caused by old infrastructure and the lack of funding for water-treatment chemicals.

A huge amount of treated water is lost through leakages. Harare should address this problem quickly because, by simply plugging all the leakages, the supply of water improves significantly.

In its five-year life, the government must be seen to have come up with long-lasting solutions to the water crisis.

Dams that have been mooted ages ago should be constructed. In the Matabeleland provinces the Matabeleland Zambezi water project should now become a reality.

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Kenya: Bringing Water Closer to Home

Maurice Mwalimu knows he is a very lucky man. The 41-year-old farmer from Bomani, in the coastal Malindi district of Kenya, used to be 13 kilometres from the nearest safe water supply. Each day, he or his wife would trek eight hours to and from the watering hole, carrying 20 litres of water on the gruelling return journey.

“It was tough, and when you came back you were so tired you just wanted to go to sleep. You didn’t have time to do anything else. I did very little work and wasn’t able to farm,” says Mwalimu.

When the Kenya Red Cross Society began talking to the community about creating a water pan to make it easier for people to access safe and clean water, he was thrilled. Even more so to hear the pan would be located within 300 metres of his farm.

“I just couldn’t take it in. I knew it would completely transform my life and I felt like the luckiest man alive,” said the Red Cross relief committee member with a massive grin spreading over his face. “Before the pan was created we had thought about moving home but we wanted to be with our land and hoped that something would happen to help us — which it has!”

The pan, which is 3.5 metres deep and holds 9,800 cubic metres of water, was dug by hand with the help of dozens of volunteers who spent 12 months on the project. Grass was planted to remove the threat of erosion, and animals have been kept away from the site so the water stays free of contamination.

Officially, the scheme aimed to improve the lives of 158 households, but it has been such a success that almost 7,000 people are thought to have benefited in some way. Other communities are now considering creating similar pans.

Sidi Karisa, chair of the Kenya Red Cross Society’s sub-branch in Bomani, said even people like herself, who live a few kilometres from the pan, were celebrating as their daily walk has been reduced from a ritual which consumed entire days, to a task that can be completed by the afternoon.

“People are very thankful for the project,” she said. “Now children get to go to school as they are not walking to fetch water. People can farm using the water, and they have more time to look after themselves. It has really helped the community, it has brought people together. By encouraging people to grow more food, it has also improved people’s nutrition. Everyone benefits!”

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Kenya: Kenya Has More Than Enough Undergound Water

The government is today expected to announce the discovery of a massive aquifer that holds enough water to meet Kenya’s demand for 70 years. The underground pool in Lotikipi plain in Lokichogio is 300 metres below the surface and is approximately 100 km by 66 km, containing approximately 200 billion cubic metres of fresh water.


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Companies who want to frack must apply for water use licence

SOUTH AFRICA:

Department of Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa discusses the notice declaring hydraulic fracturing a water-controlled activity. Under the draft policy, companies conducting shale-gas exploration will have to apply for a water-use licence.

Source: enewschannel

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Egypt: Cabinet Tackles Garbage Problem, New Companies to Be Set Up

Prime Minister Dr. Hazem al-Beblawi on Sunday 8/9/2013 held a meeting to discuss the garbage collecting problem in attendance of ministers of housing, environment, local development and Cairo, Giza and Alexandria governors.

At the meeting, the Premier and the ministers attending reviewed the model suggested to manage the solid waste problem nationwide through setting up as many recycling factories as possible as part of the sustained development plan.

On the other hand, the PM stressed on the accurate and field follow up on the part of all officials starting with governors down with the executive officials in suburbs and villages.

Al-Beblawi also directed the ministers to engage the civil society and the youth in the process to guarantee the success of the project.

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Kenya: More Water for Residents

THE Narok Water and Sewerage Company is set to increase its supply capacity to end water shortages in the town.

Managing Director Wilson Pere said the project is funded by the Japanese government at a cost of sh1.1 billion.

Pere said the company will to triple its daily production to 4000 from the current 1700 cubic meters.

“We are putting up a 2 million litres reservoir and increase the pipes network to 80 kilometers within the town,” he said.

Speaking to the Star in his office yesterday, Pere said the adjustments will enable the company meet the towns water consumption demands.

He said the new capacity will sustain the town’s demands until 2020.

Currently the company’s supplies consumes within a distance of 40 kilometers radius.

Pere said the shortage forced the company to license a private water supplier to suppliment water distribution.

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Angola: EU Supports Water and Sanitation Sector in Angola

About eighteen million are being used since 2010 by EU for the development water sector in the country, including better basic sanitation.

This was said by the delegate of EU embassy to Angola, Maria José Baptista, during the national seminar on “Collection of water consumption in urban and peri-urban area, current situation and perspectives for the future”, open on Thursday in the central Huambo province.

She said that the project of institutional support for the development of water and sanitation sector is part of the existing strategic partnership with the Angolan government.

According to her, this support is an unequivocal commitment of the Angolan government and its partners in the sector of water and Basic sanitation, thus recognizing it as priority sectors in the process of eradicating poverty and sustainable development of the populations.

She said that the financing of EU aims essentially to guarantee the sustentainability of structuring projects, better water supply services, operation, maintenance and distribution.

EU is in Angola since 1988 and has been financing various projects in the domain of water and basic sanitation.

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South Africa: Is SA’s Water Too Precious to Frack With?

This week, Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa confirmed that a notice of intention to declare hydraulic fracturing – fracking – a controlled activity, had been gazetted for public comment.

Other cabinet members have said recently that shale gas exploration could be authorised before the 2014 elections. And while Molewa says she wants to ensure fracking won’t damage South Africa’s water resources, critics believe this is impossible.

In South African writer Karen Jayes’ critically-acclaimed novel For The Mercy of Water (2012), water has become the single most valuable commodity in a drought-ravaged country, protected by the guards of a sinister “company”.

When the poor didn’t pay for the water, the company guards shut the pipes off at peak times, or denied them entry into the pump areas and the dams were fenced and put under heavy guard, a character explains.

But closer to the towns, the company placed stoppers – they look like little plastic buttons – inside all the taps so that the water dripped through two tiny eyes and it took seven hours to fill a bucket.

People entered into awful bargains so that each family member might drink and, occasionally, wash. Those who had the…

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Kenya: Salt Firms to Pay for Water

Salt manufacturing companies may be forced to pay for sea water and solar if a Bill proposed by a member of Kilifi county assembly is passed into law.

Gongoni ward representative Albert Kiraga wants water metres installed in eight salt companies at Gongoni. “The Bill is aimed at compelling the salt companies to pay for resources they are using for free. The companies which are not going to comply risk being closed down,” he said.

Kiraga said the eight companies have for years been using the resources. “The companies have been using the resources and making billions of money. The government for years has lost millions of money because of this,” he said.

The Bill is set to be discussed this week.

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Angola: Water Supply Takes State Secretary to Cunene

The State Secretary for Water, Luís Filipe da Silva, is since Wednesday in Ondjiva city, southern Cunene province to assess the water supply project in the region.

The State secretary visiting agenda will also cover Ombadja municipality, where he will check the implementation works of the central treatment of waters of Xangongo, Môngua and Ondjiva, under the Xangongo/Ondjiva water project.

The agenda also includes visit to Anhanga village to assess the functioning of the local water supply system and hold meetings with contractors and government officials.

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