We the Residents Associations, Civil Society Organization, Community Based Organizations advocating for sustainable water provision within the Upper Manyame Sub-Catchment area, convened a Water and Climate Summit on the 7th of December 2021 at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Harare to come up with strategies aimed at activating citizen agency, strengthening a collective voice over catchment and wetland management, and integrating the climate change agenda in water provision and town planning.
Aware of the effects of carbon emissions and devastating impacts of climate variability patterns on our agricultural based economy and water service provision.
Recognizing the outcome of COP 26 on climate change which is premised on the three pillars which are mitigation, adaptation and financing.
Cognizant that the Harare Metropolitan area is located on the watershed and catchment area of its main water reservoirs namely; Seke, Harava, Darwendale Dams and Lake Chivero which supply the Metropolitan area with water.
Worried on the continued destruction of wetlands in the Upper Manyame Sub Catchment area has seen water storage loss, bad raw water quality and water recharge for Seke and Harava Dams, and Lake Chivero thereby impacting on water service provision in the catchment area.
Affirming that the Constitution of Zimbabwe (Amendment No. 20), 2013 (Constitution), under Sections 74,76 and 77, (Right to clean environment, right to health and the right to water) are inseparable, and that local authorities and state institutions must be accountable.
Concerned by lack of coordination within local authorities and government departments on issues of planning and environmental management with citizens relegated to periphery of local governance.
Mindful that intact wetlands provide ecological services that are key in both mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change.
We agreed to pursues the following recommendations and action points in tackling the climate and water issues within the Upper Manyame catchment area;
- Devolution of governmental powers and responsibilities to the periphery on climate and water governance.
- Activate citizen agency and voice through community awareness and empowerment on climate and water justice issues
- Legal reform process through the harmonization of legal instruments /Acts of Parliament that govern water and climate, and alignment of the laws with the constitution of Zimbabwe.
- Citizen and stakeholder participation in urban and climate planning processes, and access to information in line with Section 62 of the Constitution.
- Localized clean energy innovations and solutions to energy provision
- Community stewardship on the protection and management of wetlands or catchments areas anchored on devolution
- Advocate for an enforceable wetland Map with all “Ecologically Sensitive Areas” or wetlands in the Upper Manyame Sub Catchment area supported with terms of reference and coordinates that will guide spatial planning in the Metropolitan Area
- Movement building both at community /local level and provincial level for climate action responses and planning.
- Come up with an All Stakeholder Taskforce that is inclusive of local authorities, strategic government agencies on water and climate, Civil Society, Community Based Organizations and the academia.
- Create a coalition for Resident Associations, Civil Society Organizations and Community Based Organization for organizing, mobilizing resources and support, collective action and coordinate advocacy interventions at Metropolitan level to be known as “Upper Manyame Wetlands and Climate Forum.”
Done on December 7, 2021
Community Based Organizations, Civic Society Organizations and Residents Associations present;
- Blue Agenda
- Combined Harare Residents Association
- Cleveland Action Alliance
- Community Water Alliance
- Chitungwiza Residents Trust
- Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association
- Epworth Residents Development Association
- Harare Residents Trust
- Norton Residents Alliance
- Ruwa Residents and Ratepayers Association Trust
- Simukai Goromonzi Residents Association
Source: Combined Harare Residents Association