Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Water conservation in Zimbabwe

Peter Makwanya in News Day (Zimbabwe): …Besides the issue of our desperate attempt to control emissions or imagining controlling them, another scourge is looming and is coming fast. It is the issue of water. The African continent, especially in the North and southern Africa, the scarcity of water will send shock waves in the spines of inhabitants of these regions.

…The focus of this discussion is Africa especially southern Africa. It is also the continent with one of the best water managing country, Egypt. For centuries, Egypt has managed water resources using simple traditional methods, from the Shaduf to modern day irrigation methods.

…In light of the devastating effects of global warming, Zimbabwe and southern Africa can do much better by cooperating in managing shared river basins. The Zambezi River is shared by about six countries, namely Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Angola. South Africa and Lesotho are currently engaged in the Lesotho High Water Project (LHWP). This appears to be a welcome form of cooperation needed in interstate water management.

… Local small scale farmers need to construct small water collection and storage facilities that they would use to supplement their gardening and domestic requirements. Although this is happening in many parts of Zimbabwe, those who are not seriously engaged in small scale farming may think it’s not for them.

Rural communities need to be provided with subsidised plastic water storage tanks which they can use to harvest water from rooftops, store and treat it for future use. How many mega-litres are lost through run-off? In their gardens they need to improve on the capacity of their shallow wells so that they harness as much water as possible….

The Bubye River, Zimbabwe, from the A1 highway. Shot by Babakathy, Wikimedia Commons

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