n AfricaGrowth Agenda - Solving Zimbabwe’s urban water supply crisis through private sector participation

Volume 17 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1811-5187


Zimbabwe is one of the countries still lagging behind in terms of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal Number 6 to ensure everyone has access to clean water by 2030. The state of urban water supply in Zimbabwe is deplorable with almost all urban local authorities failing to adequately supply water to residents. Local authorities seem to lack the capacity to solve the water supply crisis and perhaps its time to consider roping in the private sector. The private sector may come in through arrangements such as privatisation, joint ventures, leases and BOTs. The private sector tends to bring efficiencies and innovation which the public sector lacks, and this may improve the water supply situation. Efficiency and innovation may lead to lower cost of service which can translate to lower tariffs. Private sector also has access to other sources of financing which may be readily available for the private sector. Private sector participation also leads to de-politicisation of the water sector and tends to increase efficiency in bill collection. There is however need for a well planned and phased approach to the transition. Stakeholder consultation is also key so as to ensure buy-in from all stakeholders.

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