Harare city council must be held to account for needless loss of life

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) is deeply saddened by the death of four family members from Budiriro 4 who died on Monday, February 13, 2017 while trying to drain water from a well.

Information at hand suggests that the four could have died from inhaling carbon monoxide as they were using a submersible pump inside the 15 meter deep well.

As CHRA, we however would like to highlight that the Budiriro incident is one of the many cases of needless loss of life arising out of the failure by the Harare City Council to offer effective service delivery such as clean, safe and portable water.

As a result of the failure by the council to provide safe water in residential areas, residents have resorted to digging wells and many cases of residents, especially children, dying in these wells have been recorded.

On top of this, some of these wells are unprotected or are dug near toilets and this has exposed residents to diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

It is a public secret that the Harare City Council’s failure to provide safe drinking water, coupled with non-collection of refuse in residential areas has resulted in needless loss of life and the local authority must be held accountable.

Currently, Harare is grappling with a typhoid crisis and we have every reason to fear that if corrective measures are not taken, we will continue to witness needless loss of life in the capital.

What is more disturbing is the fact that the Harare City Council’s priorities are highly misplaced with $9 million out of the $13 million being collected monthly going towards salaries while only $1 million is reserved for service delivery.

Moved by the dire situation in Harare, the Combined Harare Residents Association has since engaged the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) to investigate the flagrant violation of residents’ fundamental rights such as the right to clean, safe and portable water as well as the right to a clean environment among other rights guaranteed in the country’s constitution.

It is our hope that corrective measure will be taken to prevent unnecessary loss of life in Harare.

Post published in: News
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