The Institutional Challenge in the Implementation of Water Demand Management: A Case of the City of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

M. Ncube and A.E. Taigbenu (South Africa)


WDM, Institutional and human capacity, IWRM, Sustainability, Bulawayo.


Water demand management (WDM) offers the potential to increase water availability by coupling proper water allocation with efficient use. However, its implementation in Southern Africa has been fraught with numerous difficulties and constraints, most of which relate to the lack of enabling environment and institutional capacity for the adoption and implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). This paper seeks to show, with reference to the City of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, that effective and sustained WDM implementation is unlikely to be achieved if traditional institutions are not capacitated for the new paradigms in the water sector. Institutional inertia, lack of political will, failure to build capacity of human and institutional resources and as well as blurred organisational structures will inevitably, at the least, inhibit progress and sustainability. There is a need for our water institutions to attain a certain institutional and human resource threshold before WDM can be sustainable, otherwise they will suffer inevitable collapse.

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