Registration for Zambian on-farm water resources re-opened

The Zambian Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) has re-opened the registration opportunity for farmers with unregistered water facilities till 31 December 2016.

“Please treat this matter with urgency as the amnesty is only valid until the end of 2016,” said WARMA.

According to the latest Agro Watch-e-mail notice from the Zambian National Farmers Union, they requested WARMA to open the registration process again for farmers who missed the opportunity in 2015, to allow these farmers to comply with Water Resource Management act of 2011.

This new legal framework for water regulation by WARMA in Zambia was introduced due to the water resources in the country coming under more pressure because of an increase in demand, accompanied with increasingly variable rainfall and increasing degradation in catchment and pollution.

The ZNFU also advised farmers who already made applications to WARMA and are waiting for water permits, to re-submit their applications to WARMA or to the ZNFU head office. They also pointed out that there were no registration fee applicable to this registration.

The fee for new registrations is ZMW 500 and farmers also need to fill in a form and send it in to WARMA or the ZNFU

Farmers have experienced various struggles with the registration process up to date that led to a meeting between the ZNFU and WARMA in September to address these issues.

During the meeting held in Choma, farmers aired their displeasure over various issues with WARMA.

This included:

• The delays farmers had to face with the issue of water permit by WARMA, despite applying within the allocated time frame,
• Lack of access to information about the registration process,
• The hefty fines issued to farmers with unregistered facilities.
• Confusion between the roles performed by WARMA and the Water Board and University of Zambia in the Southern Province.

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