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Debt write-off: Chitungwiza water crisis deepens
Tafirenyika, Daily News
August 27, 2013
residents have appealed to government to quickly intervene to ease
water woes that have worsened after the scrapping of bills early
Before a government
directive to all local authorities to write-off water bills in July,
Chitungwiza residents used to have running water in their taps twice
a week, but now the situation has worsened, raising fears of a cholera
So dire is the
situation that some residents are resorting to shallow wells for
water while others are spending their productive hours in queues
for the precious liquid at the few boreholes drilled by parliamentarians
using the Constituency Development Fund.
They are now
appealing to government to ensure that their right to clean and
safe water is respected in line with the humanitarian gesture shown
by outgoing Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to ease pressure
on residents by scrapping their bills.
a 47-year-old widow residing in Unit J said she hoped Chombo would
go a step further and avail the precious liquid to the sprawling
town of nearly two million people.
we received our July bills which show that our water bills had been
scrapped, our taps immediately ran dry.
to rely on boreholes because we have not had water for the past
two weeks,” said Chinake, adding she feared for her family’s
health as it cannot be ascertained whether the borehole water meets
the required health standards.
In 2008, over
4 000 people died after a cholera outbreak which was a result of
unsafe drinking water.
At the weekend,
the Daily News witnessed long winding queues of mainly women and
children scrounging for water in dug out wells, streams and at the
a high school teacher, said the situation will be worsened with
schools which are about to open.
have to adjust my timetable to be able to look for water when schools
open if this situation persists. It means people will have to wake
up at around 3am to cope with the long queues at the wells and be
early for work,” said Mutsvunguma.
is unlikely that the Zanu-PF government will help them after President
Robert Mugabe, last weekend, said Harare and Bulawayo residents
should demand service delivery from MDC because they voted against
his Zanu-PF party in the recent elections.
the remark while addressing
mourners at the burial of Mike Karakadzai at the National Heroes
receives Water from Harare, but the country’s capital has
failed to regularly pump water to the dormitory town owing to a
myriad of challenges.
This has been
made worse by the dormitory town’s failure to pay for water
supplied by Harare which in turn has resorted to throttle supplies
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