CHRA Statement on Africa Water Week

CHRA joins Africa in commemoration of the Africa Water Week being celebrated under the theme ‘Water Security for Development and Human Health’. The week comes at a time when residents of Harare are facing serious water shortages which have seen increase in gender based violence at public water points and outbreak of diarrhoea related diseases.

Currently the City of Harare is producing 350mega megalitres per day against a demand of 1200mega megalitres which makes it difficult for the growing population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of water with acceptable quality necessary for sustainable livelihoods. In some instances the local authority slows or shuts down water purification due to shortages of water treatment chemicals.

The situation has been exacerbated by corruption, inadequate financing for water provision and destruction of wetlands which are water sources and the discharge of raw sewerage into Lake Chivero the main water source for the City. The discrepancy in the water produced against the demand has seen residents accessing water from unprotected water sources with other residents shunning municipal water supply due to poor quality.

Access to clean potable water is protected under the Zimbabwe Constitution in Section 77(a), the unavailability of safe, clean and potable water poses a major threat to human health in the Harare Metropolitan Province.

We reiterate that uninterrupted municipal water supply to the residents will go a long way in the fight against COVID 19 as this decongest rallying at public water points and promote hand washing with soap which is key in reducing COVID infections and diarrhoea related diseases.

We call for increased fiscal commitment towards water provision in both local and national budgets for the year 2022.

We further call for increased accountability on all water loans, transparency in the administration of water funds and ring fencing of water accounts for the City of Harare.

Source: Combined Harare Residents Association

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