“Water crisis hits Glen Norah, Glen View and Budiriro

RESIDENTS of Glen Norah, Budiriro and Glen View have gone for nearly one week without water, threatening an outbreak of cholera and violence in the communities. Residents are lining up for water from the single borehole in Glen Norah B from around 3am, located at corner Cross road and Ambi road. The other two boreholes drilled by UNICEF in the area as a response to the 2008 cholera outbreak are dysfunctional owing to lack of maintenance and repair. The borehole is also providing water to surrou

As one approaches Glen Norah B long queues of more than 100 people can be seen holding buckets gathered around the borehole in the scotching sun. Residents woke up as early as 3am today to queue for water. Violence also broke with two men being injured after fighting for a bucket of water. Glean Norah B has an estimated population of 10 000 residents with one working borehole threatening the heath of the residents in the community.

Early this morning (20/10/11) Kimsley Mudinge almost died after being stabbed on the forehead after a fight for a bucket of water. Riot police was almost summoned to the community. Interviewed residents now fear a cholera outbreak and are appealing to the relevant authority for assistance. They suggested that the City of Harare repairs all bore holes in the area and ensure that it pumps adequate water to them for the rates they pay.

In an interview with Glen Norah Member of Parliament (MP) for Glen Norah Constituency Honourable Gift Dzirutwe, the City of Harare was approached before this major crisis urging them to address the water situation but nothing has been done.

He said: Residents have no access to clean water. The situation is getting worse by the day. Using the Constituency Development Fund, the current functional borehole was repaired but it is overwhelmed, threatening a breakdown.”

Juliet Masiyambiri, the Chairperson of the HRT in Glen Norah said they have not been able to contain the mounting anger by residents.

“Now residents are demanding an audience with the council management,” Masiyambiri said. “Potre3ntial demonstrations might erupt anytime if this situation is not immediately addressed. People cannot live without water. This is unacceptable.”

Reports from our representatives indicate that the water situation has worsened in Glen View, Highfield and Budiriro, rehearsing the period ahead of the cholera outbreak of 2008. Action is required now before it gets worse and lives are lost.

Meanwhile the HRT approached the Director of Water Engineer Christopher Magwenzi Zvobgo to find out why the situation has deteriorated to these levels and he said they had a huge pipe burst at Morton Jeffrey water Works.

“My team is working wholeheartedly to have the situation addressed,” he said.

The HRT also approached UNICEF for assistance but the bureaucracy is rendering any urgent intervention remotely possible. The UN agency requested the HRT to get a confirmation letter of the dire situation on the ground from the Harare Municipality so that they could possibly help with water bousers and save the situation from further deteriorating. On being advised that the HRT needed a confirmation letter representing the problems in the communities, the Harare Water Director referred matter to the Town Clerk’s Office but the Town Clerk was not in his office, delaying the possible help that could be extended to vulnerable residents. For how long shall the residents wait for the City of Harare to get its act together- maybe they want someone to be sick or to be dead before they wake up to this emergence.

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