Cholera cases continue to surge at national level

Community Water Alliance (CWA) local members in Dotito, Mt Darwin have reported over 100 cases of cholera in the area. Few deaths have been recorded and our committees are still compiling information on total deaths. The outbreak allegedly emanated from an area with illegal small scale miners in Mukaradzi.

Mt Darwin Centre has reported cases of cholera emanating from the same area of Mukaradzi. Besides Dotito, cholera cases have been reported in Harare, Gweru, Chegutu, Buhera, Chiredzi, Bulawayo, Chitungwiza and Hwedza. This confirms that water, sanitation and hygiene challenges go beyond urban environments in Zimbabwe.

Whilst cholera surges in Zimbabwe the state, every institution and agency of government at every level must respect, protect, promote and fulfill human rights. Section 77(a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that “every person has the right to safe, clean and potable water”. Section 76(1) gave every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe the right to basic health-care services. Section 73(1)(a) accords every person the right to an environment that is not harmful to health and well-being.

All these rights have been subjected to availability of resources and the state is obligated to take reasonable legislative measures as well as achieve progressive realization of human rights set out in Chapter 4. The budget acts as a tool to achieve human rights. Budget allocation to water, sanitation and hygiene both at national and local authority level; is a pre-requisite for progressive realization and fulfillment of human rights.

Community Water Alliance calls upon stakeholders in the WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) sector to convene and develop a shared intervention framework that harness the potential of everyone in fighting cholera. International NGOs, Residents Associations and Civic Society Organizations must urgently frame interventions backed by grassroots support in combating water, sanitation and hygiene challenges. We also urge central government and local authorities to allocate meaningful budget to water, sanitation and hygiene. Hon Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube’s 2019 paltry budget allocation negates the principle of progressive realization and fulfillment of human rights to water and sanitation captured in Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) of 2013.

Source: Community Water Alliance