Today, the 12th of February 2019, a 14-member Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public works and National housing yielded to the call made by Gwanda Ward 5 residents over lack of access to water and sewer lines. The meeting was a result of a petition that was submitted to the National Assembly in October 2018 when Gwanda residents raised complaints over the state of social service delivery in their ward. Residents cited that they had been allocated stands that were not serviced 10 years ago and to date no effort has been made to rectify the situation. This has translated to a health hazard since there is no water and sewer system. Present for the deliberations were Council officials, the town Engineer, the Town Clerk, all ten Ward Councillors, Gwanda Residents Association, residents from Gwanda Ward 5 and Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD). Among the deliberations were the following issues discussed at length:
- Gwanda Council was advised to desist from allocating housing stands that have not been serviced to desperate residents as it puts their lives at risk of a health hazard,
- Residents were urged to lead in advocating for initiatives such as writing petitions on pressing issues within their wards,
- The mandate of Gwanda Council is to sufficiently provide residents with adequate social services,
- The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee emphasized the need for the Council to pay close attention to Constitutional provisions that aim at observing residents’ rights in accessing clean and portable water,
- Gwanda community was put to task and encouraged to select a committee that will be responsible for proffering solutions to the current thorny issue of housing stands that were not serviced,
- Gwanda Council was urged to prioritise rectifying the issue of poor access to water and sewer reticulation before the end of the year as opposed to 2020, which was in their proposed plan.
Source: Women’s Institute for Leadership Development