Masvingo runs dry

MASVINGO - Residents here are up in arms with the city council after going for a week without water.

“We are facing several challenges as we cannot do anything without water,” fumed Tinashe Mugango from Sisk in Mucheke high density suburbs.

“We are also worried that the city fathers have not even communicated to explain the cuts.”

Sekai Mutambeni from Mucheke D, said: “We are afraid that water-related diseases could break out soon. Right now we can’t use our toilets to relive ourselves. We are now using the bush and streets at night and this is dangerous to the health of our children.”

Residents fear the spectre of diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea.

Mayor Hubert Fidze professed ignorance over the issue.

“I am not aware of that,” he said. “Actually, we have not received a complaint so far. But if that is true, there is supposed to be a problem I will have to find out from the city engineer.”

Residents said they were spending long hours queuing for water at boreholes drilled by a local NGO.

Masvingo United Residents and Rate Payers Association (Murra) said the city fathers were violating the residents’ constitutional rights by failing to provide water.

“Water is a basic human right as enshrined in the constitution,” Murra coordinator, Anoziva Muguti, said.

“For making residents go for a week without water, the council must explain. This is violating their rights. We call upon the city fathers to engage the residents and explain the reasons for the cuts. We also call for an immediate restoration of the provision of water to the residence taps.”

According to the World Health Organisation(WHO), every person is entitled to between 50 and 100 litres of water per day.

But a report produced by Murra and partners titled “Citizens” Participation in Water Supply in Zimbabwe showed that the country falls far short in meeting the standard .

In the report that assess water availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality (AAAQ), it noted that WHO standards stipulate that a person should not walk over one kilometre to access water but residents here who stay in areas without boreholes are travelling for over five kilometres to fetch water.

The water cuts have also hit Rujeko, Majange and Runyararo West high density suburbs.

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