SW Radio Africa (London)

14 January 2013

Zimbabwe: High Density Suburbs Without Water for Months

Photo: Capital FM
Taps remain dry in Harare.

The Harare city council has continued to fail residents by not providing basic daily needs like water and electricity, with residents in some areas now complaining that they have not had water or power for two months.

Reports said the most recently affected areas include parts of Glen View and Glen Norah, where residents say that they have not had water for two months and no-one appears to be in charge of the whole system. They fear that water borne diseases will again become a serious problem.

But Phillip Pasirayi, director of the Centre for Community Development Zimbabwe (CCDZ), said the problem is more widespread than has been acknowledged in the press, because many parts of the northern suburbs have also gone without water for months.

"I was also in Chitungwiza over the weekend and they too don't have any water or power. So it's not just Glen View and Glen Norah. Even the low density areas have been affected. Our leadership has basically failed us," Pasirayi explained.

He said the problem is also getting worse due to the city council not repairing the infrastructure that has deteriorated. Some of the boreholes were donated by charity groups like Christian Care, who turned them over to the council. But council has taken no responsibility for maintaining the boreholes.

According to Glen View and Glen Norah residents, many of the boreholes that served the area are currently not working and there appears to be no plans to repair them, even though the council has been notified.

Residents say when the water does come, it is noticeably brown and contains sediment that looks like rust from pipes. It is often not safe for drinking.

Pasirayi said the heavy rains that have fallen recently have made the situation even worse, as the floods are mixing uncollected rubbish with sewage and other toxins flowing through the streets.

"Water is a basic human right and it is interconntected with other rights. Everything revolves around water. We have a serious governance crisis," Pasirayi said.

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