Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
Harare residents have urged Government to declare the water situation in the city a state of emergency as council is failing to address shortages effectively. The residents believe that council appears to have run out of ideas on how to deal with the water challenges.
The call come barely a few days after Harare highlighted that it has reduced its pumping capacity from 300 megalitres to at least 200 megalitres although half of that is lost along the distribution network.
Zimbabwe Combined Residents and Ratepayers Association president Mr McStephen Nyabvure said provision of clean water was a basic constitutional right that residents are entitled to and failure by Harare to give residents clean water was in direct violation of those rights.
Community Water Alliance director Hardlife Mudzingwa said it was high that Government intervenes.
“This morning (yesterday) I have received numerous calls and messages from citizens including Members of Parliament stating that they are either queuing at boreholes or paying money per bucket to fetch water at boreholes,” he said.
“The messages were delivered to me during very odd hours around midnight, 1 am, 2 am and 2:30 am. I have no doubt in my mind that the water crisis has reached crisis level and should be declared a national disaster.”
Zimbabwe’s Constitution on Section 77 guarantees that every person has a right to safe, clean and potable water.
Harare courted the ire residents after it proposed to increase water charges by at least 900 percent, while some ratepayers will now be charged in foreign currency.
Water charges will increase from $0,80 cents to $7 per cubic metre.