Placard-carrying residents demonstrated at Masvingo City Council, calling for the council to keep the promise of connecting them to mains services. The houses were hastily put up on the outskirts of Masvingo under the Garikai/Hlalani Khule plan in 2007 and have never been linked to the city’s water and sewer network. With a rising population in the sprawling suburb, home to mostly unemployed and informal sector workers, its residents, together with health and environment specialists, said they were concerned about the state of the settlement.
The settlement relies on two Blair toilets and a single borehole, woefully inadequate for the more than 100 families. These basic facilities were installed by a non-governmental organisation.
“We approached officials in the Ministry of Local Government over the issue, and we were told the provision of water and sewer facilities was the responsibility of the council. We spoke to the council a number of times but nothing is taking place,” one of the demonstrators told The Zimbabwean. Officials in the local authority said the houses were built in an area that was not designed for residential stands. It would cost the council huge sums of money to link the area with the rest of the city. The only way to address the problem, they said, was for the government to take over the project.
“These houses were not part of the city’s master plan. They just mushroomed out of nowhere,” said a council housing official. “The council’s hands are tied.”Post published in: News