Water & Sanitation
River basins in Zimbabwe are undergoing tremendous changes arising from various land uses that are competing for space and are often conflicting. Basins that host the major urban settlements are particularly at risk from a wide range of land uses such as urban agriculture, residential, industrial and road construction that exist, while other developments are being proposed. If these land use activities are not well co-ordinated, they have the potential to compromise the long-term conservation status and ecosystem regulatory functions of these river basins. Therefore, there is need for an integrated approach to river basin management for the purpose of both avoiding potential land use conflicts and enhancing the conservation status of the basins.
In view of the foregoing, the Environmental Management Agency (“EMA”) and the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (“IDBZ”) are jointly working on an Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) study focusing on national river basins vis-à-vis socio-economic development initiatives within these basins. IRBM entails coordinating natural resources conservation, management and development of water, land and related resources within a given river basin with the objective of optimising use of these resources for economic growth while conserving the catchment’s environment. The Gwebi River catchment has been selected as the pilot case given that part of the capital city, Harare, falls within this catchment area. Following a competitive tender process which commenced in October 2020 and concluded with the appointment Ateg Resources (Private) Limited as the Consultant, the study is scheduled for completion by end of November 2021.