City Of Harare has moved in to address health hazards affecting residence at Matapi Flats in Mbare after partnering Oxfam Zimbabwe in refurbishing the beyond human habitation flats.
Speaking during the tour of Matapi Flats, Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Province, Miriam Chikukwa called on City of Harare to seriously look into the needs of their communities to ensure that people live in habitable and conducive environments.
"As council and my ministry it is our duty to ensure that people stay in conducive places and after refurbishing these flats the people from this community are the ones that are supposed to move in,
"In addition, when you demolish these places, make sure that there are places ready for them to settle in while you refurbish their flats," said Chikukwa.
Addressing journalists, Harare City Council Director of Works, Zvenyika Chawatama said the refurbishment of Matapi flats was part of their bigger plans to prevent disease outbreaks.
"The toilets are the point source of pollution and as we re-do the plumbing we are attending to the problem of Typhoid and Cholera. We managed to do all the 58 blocks and can be comfortable that there is not source of pollution.
"For now our major focus was the 58 blocks in Mbare because they are the most deteriorated but definitely if funds permit we will attend to other areas.
"Plan are in place to construct accommodation for these people but it is a long term solution," explained Chawatama.
Oxfam Representative, Leonard Unganai concurred with Chawatama saying Matapi Flats in Mbare were a target area hence their decision to attend to the sanitation problems too.
"We identified this part of Mbare as a hot spot as far as cholera and typhoid are concerned, so we thought in stead of providing clean water, why not provide sanitation too because that's where the problem was identified.
"Sewage system in block 10 was the worst in terms of functioning compared to the other blocks. So we prioritized block 10 with this intervention.
"We got $16 000 from UNICEF to provide water but we then decided to invest that money in sanitation. This a pilot project involving the City of Harare and we have worked closely with them.
"We hope this also reduces the incidents of Cholera and Typhoid," added Unganai.
As part of the project, Oxfam is fixing sanitation problem, showers, bathrooms while City of Harare is working on outside plastering.