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Harare residents plot protest over cholera

by Staff reporter
16 Nov 2023 at 05:06hrs | Views
HARARE residents have threatened to protest over the unending cholera outbreak, accusing relevant authorities including government, of not doing enough to stop the disease from spreading.

According to the Health and Child Care ministry, the disease has claimed over 140 lives and infected at least 7 000 people, with water shortages and poor sanitation being blamed for its spread.

Harare, where cholera is now endemic, has been identified as one of the hotspots with residents in various suburbs going for days without running water.

Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) director Reuben Akili said the spread of cholera was alarming.

"As CHRA we are very concerned and worried over the situation in terms of water supply in local authority areas, regarding waste management and the management of natural infrastructure such as wetlands," Akili said.

He was speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of an accountability for water and environment symposium jointly organised by CHRA and Network for Environmental and Climate Justice and Media Institute of Southern Africa (Zimbabwe),

"The challenge we have seen over time is the proliferation of unattended sewerage bursts in local authority areas," Akili said.

"Residents are saying if engagement fails, there is probably no other solution than for them to demonstrate, of course, peacefully as provided for in the Constitution. This is a constitutional issue."

CHRA is now mulling legal action against the City of Harare and relevant government departments.

Community Water Alliance national co-ordinator Hardlife Mudzingwa said Zimbabwe was sliding into Stone Age with medieval disease outbreaks.

"We appeal to the government and relevant stakeholders to allow the budget to speak to the issues of water and sanitation (WASH). We can only address cholera if the citizens have access to clean and potable water within the WASH programme," Mudzingwa said.

Government in has been accused of fuelling the spread of the medieval disease by failing to avail funds for water treatment.

Harare mayor Ian Makone is on record saying council has been waiting for funds from Treasury, adding that government owed more than $25 billion for water and various services.

Meanwhile, Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister Marian Chombo has pleaded with churches to pray for an end to the cholera outbreak.

She made the remarks in Chinhoyi on Sunday at a church gathering for the Johanne the Fifth of Africa led by Bishop Andby Makururu.

Chombo said her province had recorded at least 15 cholera-related deaths to date.

"There is cholera which is worrying us as a country and we need to pray for it. We need to follow what our Health ministry is saying about cholera. In Mashonaland West, we have some areas which have no water," she said.

"We are in the season of mangoes and mangoes are known for spreading cholera. Let's practise hygiene to prevent the further spread of cholera. We have recorded almost 12 to 15 deaths from cholera in the province, and as a government we are coming to your churches to pray for the outbreak."

Source - newsday