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Zambia’s water security under threat

The Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) has warned that water security in Zambia was under threat and that that practices that worsen the dire situation will lead to punitive measures, including prosecution.

“The incidences of drying dams, broken river flows and reduced ground water recharge and dry taps are not an artist impression of how things will look like in the event of climate change, it is a glaring reality,” Dr Kapotwe, WARMA Director General said in an interview in Lusaka. We have to take urgent steps, in collaboration with all stakeholders, to overcome the current situation,” he stressed. Water insecurity hampers social, industrial and agriculture growth, hence the need for government, private sector, communities and civil society to work together and foster water security for the nation.”

According to WARMA, the situation was exacerbated by illegal practices of diverting the flow of rivers by unscrupulous people.

“We have received numerous reports of illegal diversions and interference with free flow of natural river courses leading to drying up of rivers and streams…this constitute an offence under the Water Management Act. Therefore, the public is advised to desist from such activities to avoid prosecution,” reads a statement issued WARMA today in Lusaka.

Meanwhile, Nkosinomusa Ncube, a scholar in integrated water resources management has called for active participation of smallholder farmers in water governance to safe their livelihoods.

“As competition for water increases, and the expectations for improved efficiency of water use grows so will the importance of participatory governance, determining how smallholders can sustain a sense of water security,” Ncube argues in her Masters research undertaken in the Kafue Water Basin, a water source of more than 40 percent of Zambia’s rural and urban population.

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