Chitungwiza Residents' Trust (Chitrest) has filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking a provisional order compelling Chitungwiza Municipality to provide residents with safe and potable water to avoid the spread of diseases such as the deadly Covid-19.
The trust cited Minister of Local Government and Public Works July Moyo, Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo and Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube as respondents in the matter.
In the application, Chitrest director Ms Alice Kuvheya said urgent intervention was needed to address the water crisis affecting the whole town.
She said residents were still queueing for hours to get water at the few functional community boreholes thus defying the Presidential order of maintaining social distance and upholding good hygiene practices in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
"This matter is extremely urgent. The right to life is at stake given that water is the source of all life. Ablution facilities, households and public facilities cannot run without water.
"There is need for the court to intervene to save lives and prevent deaths. The right to water is central to all other rights," she said.
In her founding affidavit, Ms Kuvheya argued that failure by the local authority to provide water was putting citizens at risk of contracting diseases during the national lockdown period.
"There is simply no substitute for clean, safe and potable water. Most residents are poor and cannot afford to buy potable water from companies that sell water whose charges are far beyond their reach.
"The lack of potable water undermines all the efforts to prevent the outbreak and further spread of the (Covid-19) virus as we are forced to compromise our personal hygiene or gather at boreholes where we fetch water for domestic use," she said.
The matter is yet to be heard.