Zimbabwe: Residents Sue Council, Govt Over Water

31 March 2020

THE Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has taken the Government to court over failure to provide adequate potable water in the wake of the national lockdown to combat the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

The nation is in a 21-day lockdown which began yesterday after recording seven confirmed coronavirus cases, with one death.

The residents' association, which is being represented by Women and Law in Southern Africa (WLSA) has cited City of Harare, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of Health as respondents in an urgent application filed at the High Court yesterday.

They want an order compelling central government and City of Harare to immediately contract bulk water service providers to provide mobile water tanks to ease crowding at community boreholes.

They also want Treasury forced to immediately release money for buy water treatment chemicals in bulk to ensure that the local authority increases water supply to residents.

The lockdown is the principal measure announced by President Mnangagwa in an address to the nation last week.

Though most businesses closed, essential services and producers and retailers of essential goods will continue to be open, including food shops, pharmacies and informal food markets.

Power and water supplies are given high priority, said President Mnangagwa during the address, adding that the Government will work with local authorities to ensure regular supply of water to residential areas.

As it stands, the city is producing 170 megalitres of water per day against a demand of 1 200 megalitres, seriously compromising household hygiene patterns. It is CHRA's contention that residents in high density suburbs are crowded at boreholes to get water for domestic purposes.

The respondents are yet to file their responses.

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