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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Progress on achieving SDG 6

In 77.1% of the households have access to improved sources of drinking water up from 76.1% in 2014. Nonetheless, these figures hide a wide disparity in access to safe drinking water between urban areas and rural areas and also even within urban areas.

For instance, 97.3% of the urban household population has access to improved sources of drinking water as compared to 67.9% of the rural household population. Harare has the highest %age of households with access to improved water sources at 96.6%, when compared with 64.8% in Matabeleland South.

Meanwhile, 67.8% of households have access to improved not shared sanitation facility. Chronic water shortages are more pronounced in urban areas of Zimbabwe and are being experienced in a context of increasing water consumption needs.

The people practicing open defecation (% of population) in Zimbabwe has progressively declined to 21.7% in 2019. However, there is need to invest more in rural water infrastructure. In this regard, government is promoting modernization of sanitation beyond urban areas and the use of new technology replacing blair toilets with flashing system.

In recent years inflation has negatively affected people’s ability to pay for WASH services in Zimbabwe. In rural areas, community-level contributions to water source maintenance and demand-led sanitation approaches diminished. In urban areas, there are severe water shortages, mainly caused by lack of treatment chemicals linked to insufficient foreign currency supplies.

Recurrent drought coupled with COVID-19 continued to strain Zimbabwe’s already overstretched WASH resources in 2020 including infrastructure. High cost of replacement of WASH also poses challenges.

Read the full report here: VNR_Report_Zimbabwe


*The information reflected on this page has been taken directly from the official VNR received from this Member State. The information does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations.