By Own Correspondent
The Network for Environmental Justice (NEJ) welcomes pronouncements by the Harare Provincial Development Coordinator Tafadzwa Muguti’s declaration of war against illegal commercial water abstraction from dams and other water sources.
During the Webinar worshop organise by NEJ under the topic Commercial Water Abstraction and Impacts for Harare, Muguti said his office will take stern measures against companies and individuals involved in illegal commercial water abstraction in Harare.
“Residents and companies operating bulk water supply businesses should note that it is a criminal offense to sell bulk water without a water permit as required by Section 34 of the Water Act of 1998.
It is also a criminal offense to extra bulk water in residential areas without a ZINWA permit as it is the violation of section 17A of water (permits) Regulations of 2013 (SI 90 of 2013)” said Muguti.
He further added that those found in violation of the stated laws shall face arrest and prosecution while their delivery trucks and equipment will be impounded by the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
These laws were passed under a circumstance that the illegal water abstraction in Harare coupled with continued destruction of wetlands had led to the water table drastically falling in Harare.
The online workshop was attended by representatives from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, Nyagui Sub Catchment Council, Vouth Volunteers for the Environment, water and dam experts.
NEJ has since engaged authorities to get a database of licensed companies involved in commercial water abstraction in Harare as most residents from various suburbs in Harare are getting supply and paying for water from illegal operators.
“It is also important to note that the Harare Metropolitan Province has only licensed 3 bulk water supply companies at present, the rest are operating illegally” added Muguti.
NEJ has also partnered with various residents associations in an efforts to expose illegal commercial water abstraction activities in coordination with the relevant authorities.
Residents are encouraged to report all illegal bulk water supply actives in their communities to the nearest ZINWA offices and Police Station.
NEJ is educating residents on channels to follow in exposing illegal commercial water abstraction in Harare.
NEJ has also applaud Muguti for his firm stance and the firm pledges its support for his efforts as it will continue to engage with residents of Harare to join this noble fight against illegal commercial water abstraction.