Stakeholder intervention and resident involvement in decision making could have assisted in averting some of Harare City Council's service delivery challenges which have led to an outbreak of Typhoid and other diarrhoeal diseases, says the Combined Harare Residents Association (Chra).
Experts have linked the outbreak to unclean water sourced from unprotected water sources by residents, most of whom have either had their water supply cut off because of non-payment or other municipal penalties which are being enforced through cutting off water supplies of many households.
Wheelbarrows for ambulances with Zanu (PF) campaigning for re-election
The civil society joint platform co-ordinated by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), which yesterday drew up a petition to the Government leadership and line Ministries, recommended community involvement. Chra's status report makes sad reading about what used to be the Sunshine City.
Reporting on the current situation, Chra said in Glen View there was limited water since Saturday the 4th of August, with Glen View 8 and 3 supplied by boreholes and some Glen View 3 residents sourcing water from unprotected wells behind Glen View 1 shops.
There is a sewer burst behind the Assembly of God church which has not been unattended to since April 2012. No typhoid cases have been reported yet and load shedding is continuing everyday between 5pm and 8 pm, with inconsistent refuse collection leaving out some households because they did not know the collection was going to happen.
In Kuwadzana water cuts continue at least once a week, with least 55 households having their water supplies cut and at least five residents treated for Typhoid. Load-shedding is continuing between 7pm and 8pm and there are sewer burst at Kuwadzana 4 shopping centre, though refuse collection is said to have improved since the last typhoid outbreak.
In Highfield water supply is said to have stabilised, but still needs improvement, especially in public places like Machipisa and Machembere. Few diarrhoea related diseases have been reported and electricity has been going everyday in the morning for the past two weeks and only returning around mid-night. Sewer bursts continue along 156th and 155th street in Lusaka and refuse is being collected.
Hatcliffe currently has no water though no typhoid cases have been reported so far. Load shedding is not as heavy as other areas, but electricity just goes for a few minutes or an hour then returns. No reports of sewer bursts have been received and refuse is being collected.
Mabvuku had a 12 hour interruption of water supply on Monday but water supplies have resumed. No typhoid or cholera cases have been reported and currently the area is receiving electricity constantly, though there are sewer bursts along Manresa Way adjacent to Rozva, Munene and Chongwe Streets. City of Harare removed all mounds of garbage at the shopping centre last month (July).
In Mufakose there was a short water cut on Saturday the 4th of August, at least 10 diarrhoeal related cases have been identified and load shedding normally is done three times a week from morning until mid afternoon. A heavy sewer disposal by the dairy board complex is acting as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and refuse is collected every Friday.