Caledonia's Eastview  residents deserve better

© EDITOR— For a considerable period now I have been going around some of the emerging residential suburbs in and around Harare.

My aim was to have an assessment of the progress, or seriousness therein of the drive towards Agenda 2030 with regards to infrastructural development. 

To say the least what I witnessed at one of the hubs of activity at Eastview’s Gazebo Shopping Centre leaves a lot to be desired and one starts to wonder if the relevant ministries of Local Government and Health and Child Care even care about how an ordinary person in Eastview is faring.  

Being a proponent of children’s rights, my heart bleeds with the health time bomb I noticed at that place. There are no usable ablution facilities and human waste is common feature at a place where garden produce, meat and groceries are sold. 
This is a ticking time bomb that should be attended to by the responsible authorities as mainly children helping their parents with vending are left exposed and vulnerable to diseases like cholera, typhoid and dysentery. 

Zimbabwe signed and ratified the 1949 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) but the situation obtaining at Gazebo defies the tenets of basic Child Rights and paints a gloomy picture towards the agenda 2030. 

A synopsis of the UNCRC tells us that a child has a fundamental right to good health and nutrition as well as the right to clean water and sanitation. But it seems authorities are ignorant of such rights in view of the Gazebo neglect. 

To the residents there, the situation is normal, oblivious of the risk they face. There is need for an urgent redress of the situation before an outbreak of diseases strikes, a stitch in time saves nine, so they say. We don’t want a reactive intervention to a disaster but instead a proactive one. 
My brief research revealed that the settlement is a legal one and was regularised sometime in 2015 but currently it resembles a ghost settlement ironically still at its infancy. What could be the problem? 

Is it a matter of weak developmental thrust by the departments responsible or a mere negation of one of the basic Human Right, the right to safe and habitable environment? 

It is not a crime that ordinary Zimbabweans are fighting hard to have a place that they call their own home, and authorities should see to it that these people are supported holistically not to pretend caring when they are electioneering and later dumb them. Those people deserve a proper settlement that is self- contained just in the same way as other flourishing suburbs. 
From the engagements I made with the residents regarding the settlement, I discovered that, Eastview or Caledonia for easy of reference, is an orphaned location without a clear responsible local authority, a fact that is drastically hampering development and seriously short changing the dwellers. Researches made revealed that according to Sections 274 and 275 of the Constitution, Local Authorities have a mandate to represent and manage the affairs of the people in urban and rural areas throughout Zimbabwe. 

Furthermore, it is said that service delivery is key to the development of such settlements and should be top priority for local authorities. 

It should not be characterised by heaps of uncollected refuse, lack of water, demolitions, poor road networks and congested central business centres among others. Unfortunately and regrettably, this has become the order of the day in most towns and settlements, with Caledonia in particular.

If ever we are sincere of achieving vision 2030 in letter and spirit, something robust should be done about Caledonia and other similar settlements.


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