Water dept fuels typhoid: HRT

The City of Harare Water department has come under fire from the Harare Residents Trust for fuelling typhoid through its failure to address water shortages.

A leaking pipe that has led to the waste of much-needed water.
A leaking pipe that has led to the waste of much-needed water.

Precious Shumba, coordinator of HRT, said water shortages were leading many residents in the high and low density suburbs to seek alternative sources of water. Most residents are digging shallow wells and using unprotected sources of water, running the risk of contracting disease.

Shumba said Harare City Council water department had limited capacity to provide adequate clean water for all its citizens. “The Kunzvi dam solution that the council has proposed is a long term project without concrete sources of funding,” Shumba said.

He added that the focus needed to be shifted to repairing the constant leakages along the water distribution network where treated water was being lost.

Shumba accused the water department of having the wrong priorities that focused on paying huge salaries to senior managament and maintaining the Old Mutual building.

“This money can be directed towards the upgrading of the sewage and water reticulation infrastructure. The City of Harare has other vacant buildings where they could house the department of water without paying huge amounts of money,” Shumba says.

According to HRT, the water situation is worse in Dzivarasekwa where many residents are being treated at either Kuwadzana 4 clinic or in Dzivarasekwa. The trust also says that the situation remains dire in Mabvuku, Kuwadzana, Budiriro, Glen View and Glen Norah where water supplies remain erratic. However, two boreholes sunk in Dzivarasekwa are expected to ease continued water shortages.

In a bid to also help citizens, Econet, which has one of the largest mobile subscriber bases in Zimbabwe, has initiated an SMS platform to educate subscribers on how to protect themselves from typhoid transmission.

According to reports, there have been 207 cases of typhoid in Harare. No deaths have been reported. Harare clinics are reportedly being overwhelmed by the large number of residents seeking treatment.

The Zimbabwean could not get comment from Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda and there was no reply from Leslie Gwindi, the Public Relations Manager.

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