Harare residents criticise Council water failures

Harare residents collecting water

By Nomalanga Moyo
25 February 2013

The long-suffering residents of Harare have expressed dismay at the failure by the local authority to provide them with clean water.

All the suburbs in the city had no water over the weekend after the Harare City Council shut down supplies, citing leakages on the transmission mains from Morton Jaffray to Warren Control Pump Station.

Council spokesperson Leslie Gwindi indicated that services had been restored to most areas by Monday afternoon, although he could not disclose which suburbs were yet to be connected.
He said he does not give interviews to radio stations.

While welcoming the restoration of services to some areas, representatives of Harare residents said they are not holding their breaths regarding consistent water supply. They accused the council of lacking a clear strategy of addressing the city’s perennial water problems.

Simbarashe Moyo, chairman of the Combined Harare Residents Association, said he was deeply concerned about the inconsistent and inefficient manner in which the local authority was handling water provision.

He also criticised the council’s poor communication, saying residents are not notified in time about impending disconnections to enable them to prepare.

“We only get to know we have been disconnected when we no longer have water,” he said.

Moyo said this was placing a huge burden on residents, particularly on women who have to endure walking long distances and standing in long queues in search of water. Some of them often resort to fetching water from unprotected sources.

“This is a health hazard for residents. We talk about outbreaks of diseases such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid, but these a result of the challenges that we are facing, which are that the service provider is failing to provide adequate water to rate payers,” Moyo said.

In 2012, at least five people were confirmed to have died from typhoid in Harare’s Glen View suburb. In 2010, more than 4,000 people died following a countrywide cholera outbreak. Both health crises were blamed on a lack of clean water and the collapse of Zimbabwe’s sanitation system.

Harare Residents’ Trust director Precious Shumba expressed similar concerns, adding that the recurrent problems show that the council does not have any long-term strategy of addressing the water crisis in Harare.

Shumba also revealed that some residents, particularly in the northern suburbs, who have at times gone for more than a month without water, have been shocked to receive huge bills even for periods when they had no supplies.



6 Responsesto “Harare residents criticise Council water failures”

  1. Chimbwidos Warvets says:

    Harare residents should fire the mayor for the Harare City Council for a shoddy job first and then go for directors for the City Council for not pulling their weight. At a time the entire country is enjoying good rains, there is no justification at all for people to have water related problems. Kick them out of the City Council and replace them with competent councillors and your problems will have been solved, guys. I am fortunate that I use borehole water which is far better than the almost raw water that is consumed by the majority of our people in Harare. It is no wonder people suffer from well known waterborne diseases in the city.

    • Yepec says:

      The Central Government should enable the sub-structures under it to borrow money from outside the country. The issue is that simple..

      • Muktar Sayed says:

        Borrow money from where and from whom. The City’s mayor and his entire entourage must accept full responsibility for its failures. It can buy fancy cars for its officials which are top of the range one better than that used by the Mayor of London. The city charges its residents for water and levies rates on property owners surely from this revenues it can set aside money to expand the water supply which has remained stagnant since the days when it was the sunshine city of Salisbury

        • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

          Well said my good friend. I am beginning to like you mate. This is a well thought out argument mate. These guys should accept full responsibility. Who can whisper in the right ear of my friend Yepec to understand that Central Government does not run town councils. If it did, that would be a serious duplication of services which our government in the present precarious economic environment, can’t afford.

          • Muktar Sayed says:

            As a fellow Zimbabwean I love you Sir I have no reason to hate you as a fellow human. I do however disagree with you on lots of issues but I accept that you as much as I have the right to speak up. At the end of the day it is my love for a country I know best Zimbabwe. I am not black as you may have gathered from the name I am a brown loyal Zimbabwean who owes his allegiance to the blessed soils of our motherland.

            My dad immigrated to what was then Southern Rhodesia at a very young age. He struggled for most of his life, he was disciplined and very honest and in his twilight years he became a landlord etc. We were also suffered discrimination at the hands of the whites but ours was mild compared to the majority black Zimbabweans.

            I define myself as a liberal but on certain social issues such as gay rights abortion etc I have very conservative views on this. The reason I use these columns is to speak out my mind to defend what is in the national interest of all Zimbabweans. I confess I am not always right but I try to be impartial which in this day and age is difficult to achieve.
            I have lived in Zimbabwe for the best part of my life and I can tell you that in all these years I have probably been racially abused about as much as my five fingers. Also as much as I resent Zanu PF for the bungling of this country I should tell you that Robert Mugabe has never uttered one derogatory word against my brown community.

          • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

            If I have offended you with my writings, it was because I was reacting to white racism. I have no time to hate the white or brown folks, a colour that is surfacing now as it never existed before. As I was growing up, people were identified in my
            country of birth as black, white or coloured and these colours were purely designed for the purposes of developing people of this country along racial lines. And the blacks who had the history of having been enslaved by the white folks, were already at a disadvantage as they were the least developed as they were considered an inferior people even though the country was theirs.

            Your dad who then immigrated to what was then Southern Rhodesia was not brown but a white man who got preferential treatment than his black counterparts based on the colour of his skin and not that he was too clever. Most of the white folks
            who immigrated to the then Southern Rhodesia were guaranteed a free farm and free labour the day they set their foot in the country. To achieve this goal, the illegal government of the day had to displace my people who had lived on that land for hundreds of years in order to pave way for the farms offered to the white people without paying a penny to my people. The government of the day just used force to drive away my people to the most unproductive land of the country, usually to the mountains. I therefore do not subscribe to the view that your parents were ever discriminated against by their fellow men. Facts on the ground and scholarly work by academics do not support this view or argument as all social services, economy and political lives were all geared and designed to cater for the interests of the white people and to some extent the coloured people while the blacks who are the indigenous people and owners of the country were excluded. This exclusion was to be one of the precursors for the war of liberation.

            My argument is if the white people had treated the black people of this country as human being, perhaps the white people could still be governing the country to this day, but they were the most ruthless, heartless, and greedy and had no sense of decency to realise that all the blacks wanted was to be treated humanely and with dignity. No white or coloured people protested against the treatment accorded to the black people of this country because the system at the time served their interests. I therefore do not subscribe to your view that you are liberal, for if you were at the time, we could have heard your lone voice protesting against the treatment given to the indigenous people of this country. The fact that you
            did not clearly gives an indication that you supported this diabolic regime that exterminated my people during the senseless and unjustified war against my people whose clarion call was to be recognised as a sovereign and independent people.

            Of course, Zimbabwe is the only country you know, a country where you were born and raised but your mind-set should move with the time. Nobody denies you the right to express your views. You should realize that I have nothing against the white people who have decided to make Zimbabwe their home. I am against those whites who still believe they are a superior people in a country whose majority are the black people who incidentally are the indigenous and majority people of the land. Everywhere you go, the majority rules and this is what were are doing right now.

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