Harare City Council Should Prioritize Dzivarasekwa

The City of Harare has sidelined residents of Dzivarasekwa in term of quality social service delivery. This can be proven given the advent of the Typhoid outbreak which has gripped parts of Dzivarasekwa 1 and 3. This has been largely due to the fact that sanitation is very poor in the mentioned areas.

Water is rarely available and our local District Officer has since given an order that those residents who have not settled their debts will not receive water. If you take a walk along Tatenda Street you will see that there is a water burst which is flowing through the side overflow tunnels and you will be disappointed to see that there are quite a number of residents fetching water from there.

In the same area, two houses are sharing one tap and one toilet which has put many of us at high risk of contaminating diarrhea. The local district office gave a green light for residents to construct their own toilets but residents have questioned whether it is their duty to construct toilets. In 2009, we held a public meeting here in Dzivarasekwa and the Town clerk was present.

As residents we complained that the local district office was charging us USD$110 for illegal construction and that it had started doing so even before they had sent out the statements. Some residents had fines to the tune of USD$1000 and it is those figures that have accumulated through interest that today we have been served with summons and the subsequent closure of our tap water.

Our appeal to the local municipal office is that they should prioritize our health ahead of their love for money. We have sustained Harare city council since independence as residents, so how come today we are now being punished for failing to afford rates high but illegal rates. We also appeal to our Chairman, Mr. Moyo to urgently address our problems.

Many people have been affected by the typhoid outbreak and I bet you figures are higher than what you have been reading in the newspapers. It is unfortunate that some of these things have gone unreported for quite some time but as a committee we have been recording many of these diseases that relate to diarrhea since June last year. Our hope is that the government will intervene for our sake together with the corporate world.

We will also be grateful if we can find good Samaritans who are willing to give us buckets and soap so as to improve our hygiene conditions. As I mentioned earlier, many households are sharing one toilet. So if we can at least distribute these buckets and soap we will play our part as a community in arresting these notorious diseases.

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