Kenias Mapetere, Tanyaradzwa Chigonda, Evans Chazireni


With most cities around the world, especially in less economically developed countries, facing a growing challenge in meeting rapidly escalating demand for water, water demand management has emerged as a potentially powerful instrument with which to enhance socio-economic development amidst limited water supplies. The study sought to assess water demand management strategies in the City of Masvingo in south-eastern Zimbabwe, and suggests some options towards a more effective demand management regime. The need for water demand management in Masvingo City arises due to water supply challenges that have further been compounded by rapidly growing demand. A household questionnaire, structured interviews and observation were the tools used in collecting data for the study. Descriptive statistics were used in analysing quantitative data gathered through the questionnaire, while qualitative data were analysed thematically. Among the water demand management strategies in Masvingo City identified by the study include water pricing, water rationing and prohibited/restricted water use for certain activities. Water pricing as a demand management strategy was, however, being hindered by political interference which has seen government occasionally coercing municipalities across the country, including Masvingo City, to cancel outstanding bills of residents, and especially when elections are around the corner. Such politically motivated moves render water supply services ineffective by depriving them of much needed revenue. Through the study, it was also noted that a lot of the restricted or prohibited water uses such as the use of horse pipes for watering, were not being heeded by most of the residents of Masvingo City. High non-revenue water loss through leakages in the reticulation network has also made water demand management in Masvingo City to be ineffective. The study recommends that water users should pay for the water they would have used, which will force them to use water wisely. The populist and politically motivated interference by government in the affairs of municipalities, such as the coercive cancellation of outstanding water bills of residents, should therefore stop. Masvingo City Council should take measures aimed at reducing non-revenue water loss due to leakages in the reticulation network. Last, but not least, the City of Masvingo should expand its current water supply infrastructure so that it reflects the reality of a rapidly growing water demand.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejsss.v0i0.505

Copyright (c) 2019 Kenias Mapetere, Tanyaradzwa Chigonda, Evans Chazireni

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