Zimbabwe to supply water to 132,009 people in the South African town of Musina

Zimbabwe to supply water to 132,009 people in the South African town of Musina

By Agencies

DESPITE facing water shortages, Zimbabwe is committed to supporting its neighbour South Africa in its policy of securing access to drinking water.

Some of the water treated at the Beitbridge drinking water treatment plant will be transferred to the dried-up South African town of Musina after the two countries sealed bilateral agreement last Thursday.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by the South African Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu, and his Zimbabwean counterpart, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Anxious Jongwe Masuka.

Under the agreement, the South African municipality of Musina will very soon receive 15 million m3 of drinking water per year, or around 41,700 m3 of water per day from Zimbabwe.

The resource will be transferred from the Beitbridge drinking water plant, located in the province of Matabeleland South, which has a capacity of 4,000 m3 per hour, the equivalent of 96,000 m3 per day, 2.88 million m3 per month and 34.56 million m3 of water per year.

This new source of water supply should help to alleviate the shortages in the municipality of Musina, which is expected to have a population of 132,009 in 2024, spread across 192 villages.

“The town is dry, water sources are limited and the supply is largely dependent on groundwater,” says the South African authorities. Drinking water will be supplied via a 20 km pipeline from the Limpopo River to meet the water needs of the people of Musina.

An agreement reached after lengthy negotiations

Additional work will be carried out to increase pumping capacity at the Limpopo intake, install a riser pipe to the storage facility, extend the electrical capacity of the Beitbridge drinking water treatment plant, and improve the access road and safety around the hydraulic installation at Beitbridge.

The resource from the drinking water treatment plant will be sold to the government of the Rainbow Nation. The agreement signed on 14 March 2024 is the result of lengthy negotiations that culminated in December 2023, following approval of the water sale project by the Cabinet of Ministers of Zimbabwe.

In addition to improving water resilience in the city of Musina, the agreement will strengthen the relationship between Zimbabwe and South Africa, which signed years earlier (in 2015), cooperation on water resources management and on the establishment and operation of the Joint Water Commission (JWC).