Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
A diarrhoea outbreak has hit some Harare suburbs, with hundreds of residents being treated at various clinics after drinking contaminated borehole water, Harare City Council’s Health Services director Dr Prosper Chonzi said yesterday.
Failure by the local authority to give residents clean water is a violation of section 77 of the Constitution which guarantees that every person has a right to safe, clean and potable water.
Dr Chonzi said council has dispatched teams to monitor the situation in affected areas.
“There has been an increase in the number of reported diarrhoea cases in Dzivaresekwa 3 and Dzivaresekwa Extension due to water challenges,” he said.
“The diarrhoea emanated after residents consumed contaminated borehole water. Water levels are also critical and there is need of drilling more boreholes.
“At Warren Park 1 primary school, we are also investigating an outbreak, although authorities have been trying to cover up, but our officers are on the ground.”
Zimbabwe Combined Residents and Ratepayers Association president Mr McStephen Nyabvure said provision of clean water was a basic constitutional right that should be upheld at any cost.
In a statement, Harare Residents Trust said the city should protect school children at Warren Park 1 Primary School.
“There is overflowing sewerage, and the local clinic is reportedly failing to cope with the outbreak,” it said.
“The situation is desperate. The driveway is an eyesore, and the situation will not be resolved anytime soon given the experiences at the school.
“The HRT urges the city of Harare to put the safety and security of school children, the teaching and non-teaching staff and residents surrounding this school above their many excuses of convenience to justify failure to urgently attend to the challenges at the school.
“Every sickness and death as a result of this nightmarish situation should be put squarely on the City of Harare. They are the responsible authority.”