Residents fear another cholera outbreak

cholera_patientsFears of another cholera outbreak have gripped the residents of Harare as persistent water cuts have resurfaced in the western suburbs of Budiriro, Glenview and Glen Norah.

Residents are also irked by the continued disregard for their right to water by the City of Harare as the Citys water department has embarked on a water disconnection spree for outstanding water bills; a situation that has seen residents resorting to unprotected sources for supplies.

The CHRA Vice Chairperson and Ward leader for Glen View ward 30, Beatrice Ngwenya, voiced her concern over the water disconnection exercise which she has described as insensitive, especially considering the fact that the residents of Harare have hardly recovered from the effects of the cholera outbreak that claimed more than 3 000 lives nationwide. The outbreak was a result of acute water shortages; a situation that is being perpetuated by the water disconnections. Moreover, residents have also complained that, during the few hours that they get water per week, the City of Harare is supplying unclean water in spite of the exorbitant water bills. The water disconnection exercise has continued despite the Cabinet resolution that water supplies should not be disconnected for whatever reasons.

The water disconnection exercise also comes at a time when most residents are earning an average income of USD150 against water, electricity and City of Harare bills that are within the range of USD30-USD100 each in high density areas and USD100-250 in low density areas. More than half of the ratepayers in Harare do not have the capacity to foot the exorbitant bills from service providers and that means a large part of the Harare populace is likely to go without water for default of payment. Fears of another cholera outbreak are growing as residents have been left with no choice except to resort to unprotected sources of water. The situation is likely to be exacerbated by the rainy season that is at hand.

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) calls on the government to intervene into this issue and compel the City of Harare to prioritize the lives of residents by ensuring constant supplies of clean and adequate water instead of prioritizing money at the expense of residents lives. CHRA remains committed to advocating for good, transparent and accountable local governance as well as lobbying for quality and affordable municipal services.

Post published in: Analysis

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