Water is to the 21st century what oil was to the 20th century: The commodity that determines the wealth and stability of nations. Zimbabwe is now in need of a comprehensive water management revival strategy. By 2030, climate change, population growth, pollution and urbanisation will compound such that the demand for water in Zimbabwe is estimated to outstrip supply by 40%.
If all the water on earth was represented by an 11 litre jug, the fresh water would fill a single cup, and we can only access the last drop. Increasingly, for water to be useful, it needs to be mined, processed, packaged and transported, just like gold, coal, gas or oil. Unlike oil, there are no substitutes, alternatives or stopgaps for water.
In 2008, there were 100,000 cases of cholera resulting from poor drinking water supplies. As taps ran dry, tempers reached their boiling points. Unrest festered as people registered a protest vote against the government, illustrating the dangers posed by poor water access to a nations security.
Water resource management is an issue not only of personal survival; it is also of national security.
Proper water resource management will unquestionably turn Zimbabwe into the jewel of Africa.
Zimbabwe Independent Newspaper May 30th – June 5th, 2014
Author: Garikai Chengu