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Zimbabwe : Residents Confront City of Bulawayo over Perennial Water Crisis

D 6 mars 2024     H 05:30     A Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights     C 0 messages

BULAWAYO residents have given a one-week ultimatum to the local authority to fix and address the country’s second largest city’s perennial water crisis at a time when the southern African country is grappling with a devastating cholera outbreak.

The residents represented by Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) delivered a letter to authorities at City of Bulawayo protesting against poor service delivery, as the local authority is implementing water rationing measures, which they protested against, as a denial of their right to right to safe, clean, and potable water as enshrined in section 77(a) of the Constitution.

In the letter, which was written by BPRA’s lawyers Prisca Dube and Jabulani Mhlanga of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the residents, complained that water rationing was at its worst in Bulawayo, with some suburbs were experiencing prolonged water rationing for over three weeks.

The water crisis, the residents said, had resulted in key critical public institutions such as medical facilities and institutions of learning without alternative water sources such as boreholes, requesting residents and students to bring water from their homes to use and this had a negative impact on service delivery.

The residents proposed that the situation facing the City of Bulawayo necessitates that it be declared as a water shortage area by Anxious Masuka, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, in terms of section 61 of the Water Act.

In addition, the residents said, the perennial water crisis in Bulawayo, which is persisting at a time when the country is grappling with a devastating cholera outbreak, warrants that a state of disaster should be declared by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in terms of section 27 of the Civil Protection Act before innocent lives are lost.

The declaration, the residents said, would allow for the necessary relief to be afforded to alleviate the local authority’s current water crisis and hopefully pave the way for a long-term solution.

The residents demanded to be furnished within seven days, with information on the steps and measures that the City of Bulawayo and the relevant stakeholders, which include government, were taking to address and arrest the current and perennial water crisis in the country’s second largest city.