Appalling Living Conditions: Unit M, Chitungwiza

13 November 2018

Director Works
Chitungwiza Municipality
Tilcor Road
Chitungwiza

Dear Engineer David Duma

SUBJECT: APPALLING LIVING CONDITIONS; UNIT M (Cde Chinx area)

Chitrest writes to you expressing its deepest concerns regarding the above mentioned subject which your office is neglecting or lacking urgency to solve. The residents of Unit M are living in unhuman conditions as a result of ever bursting sewer in their homes and surroundings.

Our aim as Chitrest is to improve communication and relationship between communities, local authority and central government through community capacity building and initiating community based development projects among our members and some of our objectives include:

a) To empower citizens to demand accountability from leadership and service providers,
b) To enhance the capacity of council officials to be responsive to the needs of the citizenry,
c) To facilitate engagement among council officials, service providers and the citizenry to improve standards of living in Chitungwiza, and
d) To monitor and audit the performance of service providers so that they deliver quality and affordable services to the citizenry.

Unit M resident deserves urgent lasting solution to their sanitation situation since it is becoming clear that the flowing of raw sewage in their homes, gardens, wells and streets is a permanent occurrence. (We can provide a video evidence done by Bustop TV). These residents being rate-payers are like any other residents hence deserve utmost quality service and access to basic human rights. Their incessant exposure to toxic substances from a multitude of sources including raw sewage directly implicates their human rights to life, to the highest attainable standard of health, to physical integrity, to safe water and food, to adequate housing, and – in an increasing number of States – the right to a healthy environment.

Despite concerted efforts to engage and report the bursting of the sewer pipes, you subordinates are always reluctant to come and when they do come they blame it on residents as happened on the 30th of September 2018 when Mr Tarutira was quoted castigating the residents as if the residents themselves are causing this catastrophic situation (ZIMEYE 1 October 2018).

We appreciates that the council maybe facing some challenges but we believe the council has necessary resources to solve this problem because it did solve burst sewage on Rufaro road last year.

Please be reminded that the continued flowing of the sewage into homes, streets and environment is gross violation of basic human rights such as (1) right to water and sanitation (2) right to health; residents are exposed to diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid and hepatitis A (3) right to adequate housing. It also vitiates the following Universal Declaration of Human Rights articles 1, 3, 5 and 25.

We unequivocally demand that you sought and implement lasting solution to the Unit M disaster. Failure to this will result in us escalating this issue further. You are kindly noted that this flowing of sewage is not a Unit M problem alone but most parts of the Chitungwiza particularly St Marys and Zengeza suburbs.

We look forward to hear your proposed solutions at the earliest time possible since we are already in the summer season.

Kind Regards

Alice D. Kuvheya
Director Chitrest

CC

Min of Local Government and Public Works
Town Clerk
Director Health
Councillor
Council Health Committee Chair
Council Works Committee Chair
MP
Sewer Manager, Mr Tarutira

Source: Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CHITREST)