THE government will invest adequately in water storage to increase availability of water even in times of crises.
Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Water, Prof Kitila Mkumbo, said the current storage capacity of water could only last for eight hours.
“We need to invest adequately in water storage as it is the case in other countries. We do not have enough storage capacity at the moment and in case of any problem, our stored water can last for only eight hours. This means after eight hours everyone will know that there is a problem somewhere,” said Prof Mkumbo.
He said although it required huge investments, it was a good idea to have a big storage reserve capacity since there was a lot of lost rainwater which could be harvested and stored for future needs.
“We need to increase the storage capacity at water utilities as well as at national level by utilising rainwater so that we may have enough water even during protracted droughts and crises,” he insisted.
The PS was speaking at the weekend when the ministry was a signing performance contract with managing directors and board chairpersons of 69 water utilities for improved service delivery.
Prof Mkumbo wanted the water utilities to think big on how best they could use water resources to increase revenue and improve service delivery.
He said they had a national water strategy, thus the water utilities should utilise water resources to ensure they benefitted the majority of people, especially those in rural areas.
Prof Mkumbo said the water project plan must be well-utilised to see how best they could connect those in rural areas to a water supply system.
He challenged the water utilities to ensure they maintained service delivery.