Targets and Zimbabwe Trends
Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources.
Increased deforestation estimated loss of 100,000-320,000 ha per year of forest cover; uncontrolled veld fires. Country is a net carbon sink. An ODS total phase-out in tobacco nurseries, horticulture, and grain fumigation was achieved in 2010, five years ahead of the 2015 deadline.
Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving by 2010 a significant reduction in the rate of loss
Occupation of designated forestry and wildlife areas and increased levels of poaching.
Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
65% of all water points in rural areas non-functional; the percentage access to safe water in rural areas decreased from 70% in 1999 to 61% in 2009; persistent water shortages in urban areas. The percentage access to improved sanitation rural areas decreased from 60% in 1999 to 30.5% in 2006. In 2008 an unprecedented cholera outbreak affected all ten provinces and both urban and rural areas; evidence of effluent and raw sewer outflows in fresh water sources; urban water shortages, impacting on both health and hygiene. Five years is needed to raise safe water coverage from the present 61%.
By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum-dwellers
Estimated shortage of one million urban housing units. This figure likely to increase due to increased urbanisation rate estimated at 5-6%. There has been a significant decrease.
Status and Trends
As the economic crisis deepened between 2000 and 2008 a significant proportion of the population was forced to rely more heavily on natural resources for their livelihood. These resources included firewood, bush meat, traditional medicines, and wild fruits and vegetables, and caused biodiversity loss. The government has made efforts to ensure environmental protection in resettled areas through the Integrated Conservation Plan for the land reform programme.
The capacity of state institutions to enforce environmental laws was severely weakened during the crisis period, resulting in illegal occupation of protected forest and wildlife areas as well as other negative environmental practices such as illegal alluvial gold mining, diamond mining, accidental and deliberately set bush fires, all of which destroyed both plant and animal biodiversity. The country has done well in phasing out ozone depleting substances (ODS). It reached the target five years ahead of the 2015 deadline set under the Montreal Protocol.
Despite being a low emitter, there is observed global warming in Zimbabwe. A set of climatic extremes show that the monthly highest daily maximum temperatures for most of the country are on the increase, by about 2ºC per century, and the percentage of days with low temperatures is decreasing at a rate of about 15 days per century. Assuming that GHG emissions continue along the predicted trajectory, it is predicted that temperatures will rise by between 0.5°C and 2°C by 2030, and 1°C and 3.5°C by 2070. National average rainfall declined by about 5% between 1900 and 2000.
Water and Sanitation
The inability of vulnerable populations to access safe water and basic sanitation has seen frequent diarrheal and cholera outbreaks in the country. The proportion of people in rural areas with access to safe drinking water declined from 70% in 1999 to 61% in 2009. Furthermore, more than 65% of all rural water points are non-functional at any given time. Zimbabwe’s extensive rural sanitation programme has also experienced a sharp decline in quality.
With regards to sanitation, in 2009, 69.5% of all rural households had no access to hygienic sanitation facilities. The peri-urban areas rank amongst the worst affected in terms of water and sanitation access and coverage as there is no guiding policy framework.
Major challenges to achieving MDG 7
On the overall policy arena, the major challenge that the country faces to ensuring environmental sustainability is effective implementation of the Environmental Management Act. The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) plays a key role in translating the objectives of the Act into reality, but it lacks both human and financial resources. The low level of environmental awareness among key law enforcement agencies such as the Judiciary and the Police further hinders both the success of domestic self-financing mechanisms through fines and penalties to replenish the Environmental Fund and halt negative practices. Key policy frameworks such as a national climate change strategy are not in place, making it difficult for the country to engage effectively on climate change. Financial resources for implementing EMAs have mainly come from limited external sources.
The major challenges affecting the provision of clean water and good sanitation include eroded institutional and community capacity at all levels in terms of human, financial, and material resources, a weak policy framework, and a weak sector information management and monitoring system. In addition, failure to invest in the routine maintenance of water and sanitation facilities has resulted in deterioration of physical assets and, inevitably, failure to provide a safe and reliable basic level of service.
Requirements for Achieving Goal 7
Environmental capacity-strengthening of key law enforcement agencies.
Institutional strengthening of the EMA and the MoENRM for mainstreaming environmental issues, including climate change, across all sectors.
Ensuring more robust approaches towards leveraging both domestic and international environmental financing.
Fiscal and institutional reforms to accelerate the uptake of renewable and clean energy technologies in households and industry.
Adopting public-private partnerships in water, energy, and housing provisioning.
Ensuring clear and decisive government leadership in order to safeguard the water and sanitation sector.
Prioritising the development of rehabilitation programmes with the objective of restoring the existing water and sanitation infrastructure, accompanied by a large-scale sanitation behaviour change programme.