Zimbabwe: Harare, Cassava Allay Cholera Fears

Harare City Council and Clean City, a subsidiary of smart digital technology provider Cassava Smartech, which is part of the Econet Group, have moved in to ensure that no fresh outbreak of cholera occurs in the capital after entering into a partnership targeting suburbs vulnerable to waterborne diseases.

The two have set their target to ensure a cleaner Harare free of waterborne diseases that had become a menace for years.

Council is struggling to provide basic services including refuse collection and provision of potable water, shortage of which was exposing residents to waterborne diseases.

"It's a fact, even to the admission of City of Harare, that the city is battling with a number of challenges at the moment. The situation has resulted in residents having to contend with pitiable service delivery, including inconsistent refuse collections and the resultant mounting of illegal dumpsites, scarcity of clean water due to shortages of water treatment chemicals as well and dilapidated infrastructure, not mentioning some suburbs that have not had tap water for decades," Clean City Africa chief executive officer Lovemore Nyatsine said.

Nyatsine said waste management had become an area of major concern with residents battling the scourge of mounting refuse, poor sanitation and lack of clean water.

He commended the current crop of councillors for opening up to partnerships, citing the use of the same in transforming several countries including Rwanda and Kenya.

"Coming back home, no one wants to see a repeat of the sad era of 2008-2009 when Zimbabwe plunged into a cholera epidemic which saw more than 98 000 cases being reported and caused more than 4 000 deaths, and more recently, the 2018 cholera outbreak in Harare when more than 8 000 cases were reported with more than 50 deaths," Nyatsine said.

"At the end of the day, I believe that whatever the results this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will bring, the most important stakeholder are the customers, who in this case are the residents. In its strict sense, the MoU partnership is for the residents and must aim to meet current service delivery concerns."

Clean City was established mid 2019 with a vision to turn around the city's fortunes with its refuse trucks visible in most suburbs.

Nyatsine said there was need for residents to get the services they pay for.

Harare mayor Herbert Gomba said the partnership was an answer to concerns raised by residents.

"This partnership will contribute to a clean and healthy city for our residents and it will also help create employment and grow the economy of the city," Gomba said.

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