Pre-paid water meters undesirable in a struggling economy

A cross section of Harare residents say pre-paid water meters are undesirable especially given the dire economic situation prevailing in Zimbabwe.

The sentiments from the residents came out during a series of meetings held by the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) in May and June 2017.

CHRA held public meetings in the high density suburbs of Mufakose, Rugare, Mabvuku, Tafara, Hatcliffe, Sunningdale and Highfield.

The residents said that pre-paid water meters will take away their right to water as most of them would not afford pre-payment of water given the current state of the Zimbabwean economy.

“At the moment we are failing to pay for pre-paid electricity because we have no money. Pre-paid water meters will basically mean that we will not be able to access water. As for electricity, there is always a substitute but that is not the case with water,” said a Mabvuku resident.

The residents noted that plans by the Harare City Council “to impose” pre-paid water meters must be resisted.

“The biggest problem is the failure by the council to consult us on this programme. If the truth be told, residents are against pre-paid water meters but we hear council saying that they will be going on with installation of these pre-paid water meters. We should stand up and resist the imposition of theses pre-paid water meters,” said a Mufakose resident.

The sentiments from the Harare residents go against statements from Town House that there is “overwhelming demand” for the pre-paid water meters.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Dzivarasekwa, Omega Hungwe, who is also a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Local Government, is on record saying that government must stop the installation of pre-paid water meters as they go against citizens’ constitutional right to water.

In a desperate attempt to justify the imposition of the pre-paid water meters, Harare City Council Spokesperson, Michael Chideme last week announced that there was huge demand for the pre-paid water meters.

CHRA reiterates its position that pre-paid water meters amount to privatization of water and as such, must be resisted.

Introduction of pre-pad water meters will violate citizens’ right to water and consequently, undermine public health.

Post published in: Environment

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