Introduction

The scarcity of fresh water is rapidly becoming a nightmare amongst urban residents in Zimbabwe, and, Masvingo urban is no exception. The current macro and micro economic state of affairs is offering a direct contradiction to the locally and universally agreed standards about people’s rights to access safe and adequate water. Access to safe, and adequate water is vividly enshrined in the constitutions of many international institutions who are the champions and watchdogs of human security which is fortified by observance of certain human rights and privileges. As good case here is of the IWA (International Water Association), 2004, who agreed and set a blue print which emphasized the strong need to accord human beings exclusive rights to safe and adequate water supply. One of their important resolution extracted from their main document says;

Access to good, safe and reliable drinking water is one of the most basic needs of human society and as such requires integrated approach, close cooperation and partnerships between all stakeholders.

Furthermore, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Human development Index (HDI), have in their areas of jurisdiction indicated the strong need to consider availability, accessibility, and affordability of clean and adequate water supply as a priority in the whole discourse of human security. All these considerations are emerging against the back drop water scarcity and unaffordability particularly in expansively expanding urban areas in less economically developed countries. It is against this background that, this position paper offers an insightful state of affairs ongoing in the provision of fresh water in Masvingo urban. It also highlights intriguing ongoing conflicts and contestations amongst the citizens and the responsible authorities in the strive of providing and accessing of the precious water. The paper is presented guided by the following main objectives:

  • To give a brief background of water supply and its quality in various residential areas Masvingo urban.
  • To highlight the causes of scarcity of piped water.
  • To identify how the urban residents are coping up with water scarcity.
  • To unearth the contestations and conflicts amongst different stake holders who are concerned / involved in the supply of safe water.
  • To offer recommendations earmarked to improve the supply of safe and affordable water

Source: Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD)

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