Member of Parliament for Kuwadzana constituency, Hon Nelson Chamisa has blasted previous ZANU PF governments for the poor water and sewer infrastructure that has seen diarrheal diseases on the increase in most urban areas especially Harare.
Addressing residents at a public meeting co-hosted by the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) and the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition at Kuwadzana 2 Community hall on Friday, Hon Chamisa lamented the corruption which characterized previous ZANU PF governments adding that it thrived on selfish agenda ahead of crucial public needs like efficient service provision.
Also in attendance was the director of community working group on health, Mr. Itai Rusike and Doctor Bonde representing ZADHR. Chamisa further advised the crowd that the typhoid issue does not need a foreign solution to address it permanently, but the power lies in the hands of the people who are expected to make important elective decisions that allow for people who have residents at heart to occupy important positions at both local and national government. In Kuwadzana, at least 2000 cases of suspected typhoid have so far been reported.
However, when this disease which is termed medieval, because of its triviality and archaic nature, was first reported, at least 90 patients a day were being treated but the figure has gone down to at least 40 patients per day. The Member of Parliament spoke on the need for locals to practice safe personal hygiene which should be augmented by consistent and frequent refuse collection by the city council.
Mr. Itai Rusike came up with some stunning facts around the causal effects of typhoid. He argues that typhoid is exacerbated by the failed health system which also caused the death of over 4000 people in 2008. Currently, the City of Harare and Chitungwiza municipality are dumping raw sewage into Lake Chivero which is also the source of drinking water for the two cities. The act which governs health operations in the country, the health act, was crafted in 1924 the same year President Mugabe was born and has been overtaken by events.
He lashed out at government because of its lackadaisical approach in ratifying the Abuja declaration which entails all government signatory to it to dedicate at least 15% of their annual budgets towards the health sector. The former has resulted in the urban primary health system being found wanting ahead of the rural primary health system. City of Harare was urged not to continue disconnecting water supply to residents.
Dr Bonde spoke much about typhoid from a human rights perspective. She noted residents’ failure to access proper sanitary facilities as a major determinant in the typhoid outbreak. Government has taken over 30 years now in addressing the issue of proper water reticulation in most urban areas despite a change in the overall economic performance of the country. Looking back in 2008, Cholera was a result of a failed state which was being haunted by a harsh macro environment characterized by hyper inflation.
In essence, people rights to health have been infringed upon and this calls for government to quickly join hands and address this challenge. Government and Harare City Council need to come out clear, accounting for the typhoid outbreak because both parties have been found wanting on a number of occasions in terms of service provision.
The meeting that was attended by a capacity crowd of at least 600 people who came in from Kuwadzana 1-5, Dzivarasekwa and crow-borough north. The chairperson of the combined Harare Residents Association, Mr. Simbambashe Moyo was in chair. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Zimbabwe Association for Doctors for Human Rights gave solidarity to the proceedings.Post published in: News