The Combined Harare Residents Association is deeply concerned about unavailability of water supply in most high density suburbs of Harare. The high density suburbs of Harare are where the majority of residents stay and in the advent of Covid-19 basic hygiene at household level is critical, thus residents need uninterrupted supply of water. The unavailability of water is a direct violation of the human right to water; a situation that clearly displays the failure by our government and responsible authorities to adhere to the rule of law.
We note with concern that Harare City Council as the sole provider of water in Harare has not taken any notable correctional measures in an effort to make sure residents have access to clean water supply. We are concerned by the fact that Harare City Council is still struggling with financial resources to purchase water treatment chemicals and government is not doing much to address the problem.
Consistent running water is of paramount importance in these critical times to protect and save the lives of the people. Women and girls are at high risk as they are the ones who spend long hours in queues for water at community boreholes. CHRA is cognisant the fact that even if people desist from social gathering and public places, residents still need water for their day to day household chores and drinking which they can only access at community boreholes, which have become centres of overcrowding and potential hot spots for the spontaneous spread of Covid-19.
Residents have raised concern at the reluctance by government and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to be proactive in facilitating preparedness against the spread of Covid-19 by improving the water situation in Harare and other towns. The government has the obligation to respect, fulfil and protect human rights, therefore we appeal to Government to channel most of its resources towards improving water supply in Harare.
The government and Harare City Council must step up and be vigilant, we therefore call upon the responsible authorities to do the following:
- The Reserve bank of Zimbabwe to expedite the release foreign currency to local authorities to procure water treatment chemicals
- The Ministry of Local Government through the Minister to prioritise construction of dams as long term intervention.
- Deploy water bowsers to go around communities delivering water as a short-term emergency intervention.
Source: Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)