The Australian government on Wednesday unveiled a $30 million grant that will be channeled towards water and sanitation rehabilitation programs in 14 small towns in Zimbabwe.
Officiating at the grant handover ceremony, Margaret McKinnon, First Assistant Director General of the Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID), said her government was committed to help Zimbabwe in programs that uplift the standards of living of its people.
Accepting the small towns’ water, sanitation and hygiene programme grant, Water Resources Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, said the resources would help Zimbabwe fight the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo said his ministry would ensure that the local authorities will put the money to good use.
Interim UNICEF representative in Zimbabwe, Gianni Murzi, the Australian grant will help Zimbabwe to achieve its millennium development goals on health.
The grant will be managed through UNICEF.
Responding to a question from a journalist on why donor agencies continue to channel their resources through organizations such as UNICEF, Minister Nkomo said Zimbabwe remained under sanctions and cooperating funding partners have indicated that they can only help Zimbabwe through UNICEF and other UN agencies.
The grant availed by Australia will be used to improve the operational capacity and efficiency of piped water supply systems in 14 targeted towns through the rehabilitation of sewage and water reticulation systems and treatment plants.