, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 231–242 | Cite as

An overview of the city of Gweru, Zimbabwe’s water supply chain capacity: towards a demand-oriented approach in domestic water service delivery

  • Winmore KusenaEmail author
  • Heinz Beckedahl


Following complaints about water shortages in some areas of Gweru, the paper assessed the availability of enabling capacities to efficiently and sufficiently deliver water to the residents of Gweru in line with the existing level of demand. The key inspected capacity aspects were infrastructure, human resources, finances and physical availability of raw water at source. Purposively selected informants from Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) and Gweru city council (GCC) provided data on the infrastructural, financial and human resources situation of GCC. Dam levels data for Gweru’s three supply dams were obtained from ZINWA records through the assistance of Sanyati Catchment Hydrologist. The raw water availability was assessed with the aid of Mann–Kendall test using a 10 years period data set from 2003 to 2012 for trend analysis. Findings revealed that the water sources were not experiencing major changes in water levels, to be precise, the changes were insignificant. However, given the increase in population and demand, any slightest negative change in the supply chain would further widen the gap between supply and demand. The study also uncovered that GCC had challenges in terms of the infrastructure, mainly due to financial constraints. Notably, GCC was not experiencing high staff turnover, but it was however, seriously under staffed and failing to effectively monitor water use in the city. Therefore, strong financial injection is required to support staff and resuscitate the reticulation system. Given the perpetual water shortages in Gweru and the status quo in the supply chain, water demand management strategies, wastewater use and consumer education are consequently proposed as measures that would ensure continuous water supply for all needs in the city.


Water supply Capacities Service delivery Gweru Demand management 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KwaZulu NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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