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Many rural and urban communities have no access to clean water: Zimcodd

by Stephen Jakes
18 Dec 2023 at 15:20hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development has said there are many communities in rural and uirban areas that have no access to clean water due to the government's lack of political will to assist local authorities.

Zimcodd makes the claims in its analysis of the Auditor general's report for 2022 released recently.

"Water is a key resource as evidenced by the statement water is life. To show its importance, the constitution makes access to clean, safe, and potable water a right for every Zimbabwean. Surprisingly, there are many communities, urban and rural alike without access to clean water more than 40 years after the attainment of independence," reads the analysis.

"The latest audit report has indicated that many LAs are to blame for severe water challenges faced by residents, particularly in urban areas. These LAs are failing to expand water infrastructure, repair broken pumps & meters, replace aging water distribution networks, and curtail illegal connections and vandalism. For instance, 70%, 43%, and 21% of water meters in Ruwa RDC, Mutare City Council, and Chinhoyi Municipality respectively were dysfunctional."

Zimcodd said the use of estimates when billing customers leads to below-cost pricing.

It noted that the Victoria Falls City Council also had no water reservoirs and hence could not provide residents with alternatives during emergencies like power cuts and plant breakdowns.

"These shortages of clean and safe water across many LAs are increasing the opportunity cost of unpaid care work such as lost hours of schooling for young girls. It is also leading to the spread of medieval water borne diseases like cholera and typhoid. For example, the nation is experiencing rising cholera cases with more than 5,000 reported cases and 120 suspected deaths recorded as at the end of October 2023," reads the analysis.

"Zimbabwe remains a major country in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region struggling with the repeated outbreaks of medieval diseases like cholera, an exception for the 21st century. These are results of the under-provision of sanitation services by LAs as investment in infrastructure is being outpaced by the rising urban population."

Zimcodd noted that citizens are flocking in droves from rural to urban areas in search of greener pastures.

"The AG report established that many LAs are battling sewer blockages along sewer networks due to the continued use of aged pipes, erratic power supply, and outdated sewer designs. The communities are also struggling with sewer spillages causing a flow of raw effluent into water sources," Zimcodd said.

"Refuse is not being collected consistently leading to the mushrooming of dumpsites near residential areas, particularly in high-density suburbs. More so, LAs are not maintaining sewer plants posing life-threatening hazards. For instance, the AG report highlighted that the failure to fence a disused sewer plant by Redcliff Municipality led to the death of a minor."

Source - Byo24News