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bear brunt of Zimbabwe's water crisis
Muzulu, The Independent Zimbabwe
November 22, 2013
Women and girls in Zimbabwe are carrying the burden imposed by local
and central government’s failure to provide uninterrupted
clean and safe water to the majority of the capital’s residents,
according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).
are contained in a report by HRW titled Troubled
Water: Burst Pipes, Contaminated Wells and Open Defecation in Zimbabwe’s
Capital, launched on Tuesday. The research was carried out in
eight high-density suburbs in Harare between October 2012 and September
the report, children, especially girls, were disproportionally affected
by lack of access to water as girls are often responsible for fetching
the precious liquid from boreholes or unprotected wells.
who are menstruating face numerous challenges in attending school,
including lack of appropriate disposal of sanitary pads, severe
overcrowding with insufficient toilets, inadequate water supply
and little provision for hand washing,” the report says.
HRW senior researcher
Dewa Mavhinga said government should immediately adopt new policies
to solve the water shortages without sacrificing the urban poor.
of Water, Environment and Climate should work with local urban councils
to develop and implement a system, such as sliding fees, that would
ensure the delivery of affordable and safe piped water to low-income
families,” Mavhinga said.
Harare Residents Association and Harare
Residents Trust said the local authority should ringfence revenue
from the water account and only use it to rehabilitate the system
and procure water treatment chemicals.
got a US$144 million loan from China to rehabilitate water works
in the capital. The money is expected to be used to refurbish Firle
and Jeffray Morton Waterworks.
More than 4 000 people died of cholera
and typhoid in Harare and Chitungwiza between 2008 and 2009.
was only contained after international aid agencies came to the
rescue with support to purchase water treatment chemicals and the
drilling of boreholes in high-density suburbs.
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