The governments of Mozambique and Zimbabwe on Wednesday signed an agreement that establishes conditions for the management of competitive use of water and associated ecosystems in the Buzi, Pungoe and Save Rivers, shared between the two countries.
The agreement was signed virtually by the Minister of Public Works, Joao Machatine, and the Zimbabwean Minister of Land, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Settlements, Jongwe Musaka.
Budgeted at six million US dollars and funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the project will run between 2021-2024 and will be implemented by the Central Regional Water Board (Ara-Centro) and Zimbabwe’s National Water Authority (ZINWA).
Under the project, the two signatory countries will share early-warning information intended to mitigate floods and droughts; conserve and restore the ecosystems for sustainable subsistence, as the two countries grapple with the issue of small-scale gold mining, which seriously pollutes rivers.
The third component will address the issue of integrated planning of the rivers, as there has been a debate between the two countries about the ecological flow of the rivers.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Machatine said that the project is an extremely important and vital instrument, as it will enable the government to plan and implement its development projects in a foreseeable way.
“We hope to significantly reduce the great economic impacts and havoc caused by the flooding of the Buzi River,” Machatine said, pointing out the examples of infrastructures such as the Tica-Buzi road which has not yet been finished and the cyclical flooding of Buzi town.