Last week CHRA held two consultative meetings in Highfields on 21 March and in Dzivarasekwa on 23 March. The purpose of the meetings was to address service delivery challenges such as water, refuse collection among other issues in these areas. Dzivarasekwa residents are mainly facing water problems. Highfield residents are mostly experiencing refuse collection and water problems as well. However, council representatives did not attend the Dzivarasekwa consultative meeting which made it impossible for residents to come up with meaningful resolutions in ameliorating the challenges they are facing.
Since the beginning of the year, refuse was collected only once in Lusaka. There are burst sewer pipes and accumulating garbage close to the schools in Egypt towards Tsungai. Residents are dumping refuse at a nearby cemetery. There are some houses in Lusaka that spent the whole of last year without water supplies. At the moment, water supplies are only available at midnight up until 3am. Water is of poor quality, with visible dirty particles contained within and produces foam when boiled. There are leaking pipes in homes and residents are buying their own meters.
Residents urged the council to prioritize refuse collection at Machipisa market stalls since it is an area frequented by most people. There was also the issue of water meters where City of Harare has urged residents to buy and replace their dysfunctional water meters since the Council does not have the resources to do so. It was proposed that for those residents who manage to replace their water meters, Council should deduct the costs of the water meters from the monthly bills so that residents recover their money. This is because it is the mandate of the City of Harare to buy water meters for residents.
· The representative from City of Harare, Mr Ushe, revealed that there is a shortage of refuse trucks in Harare such that the city has resorted to clearing dumpsites using front end loaders.
· He urged residents to consider other ways of refuse collection such as paper recycling, compost manure for community gardening among other options.
· Mr Ushe assured the residents that the water was harmless and that the form on top was just a chemical reaction.
· He further added the water infrastructure is now old and the council has no money at the moment to fix these anomalies.
510 houses in Dzivarasekwa are yet to have water supplies reconnected amid the typhoid crisis. One thousand one hundred and sixty seven residents have been attended to at the clinic for diseases related to water and poor sanitation. The council has issued final demand papers to residents who owe council and did not give residents notices on the issue of illegal structures. Residents are crowded in ward 39, on average two rooms are accommodating 8 to 15 people of different sexes and this has negative social implications as well as health risks. The council is preventing residents from extending council houses or build extra rooms outside so as to cope up with the increase in population
Representatives from the city of Harare failed to attend the meeting thus making it impossible to come up with permanent solutions that can address the above issues. However CHRA is in the process of issuing a petition letter to the City of Harare to ensure residents are offered the houses at an affordable cost considering that residents have been contributing under the rent to buy scheme over the years.
It was proposed and resolved at these meetings that since these problems are heterogeneous in nature, and cannot be solved using individual efforts at ward level, there is need to table these issues at the next general council meeting which is going to be scheduled for the first or second week of April in order to mobilize consensus on how to try and tackle these issues.
CHRA remains Committed to good local governance practiced on a non partisan basisPost published in: News