ZIMBABWE: SANITATION/THE HERALD/17/4/18 SABANews 1
HARARE – The new economic, political, and social system in ZIMBABWE is receiving lots of approvals abroad; but the picture at home is depressing.
President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA has pledged to hit the ground running and is proving it with his attention to both government and political business.
However, although senior civil servants, mostly in the capital, HARARE, are emulating him, urban council authorities have maintained a relaxed mood in the face of humanitarian disasters.
ONE of the major looming calamities is a serious disease outbreak due to lack of proper sanitation in the most densely populated areas of HARARE and the dormitory town of CHITUNGWIZA.
THE HERALD has carried out a survey of SAINT MARY’S Suburbs of CHITUNGWIZA following reports saying both municipalities have recorded 24 suspected cases of cholera over the past week.
The State-run newspaper says the area has over the years been experiencing erratic supplies of water, with perpetual flows of raw sewerage in front of their houses daily.
A number of residents have even given up hope of ever using the municipality sewer system and decided to dig up septic tanks in their homes.
THE HERALD has interviewed BELIEVE BEMBERE whose father died of suspected cholera this WEDNESDAY.
The young man says CHITUNGWIZA Municipality has neglected the people of SAINT MARY’S, resulting in the emergence of diarrhoeal diseases.
Mr BEMBERE says their area only receives water TWO times a week, MONDAYS and TUESDAYS; and people rely on unprotected wells, because communal boreholes no longer function.
He says his father had diarrhoea and vomiting on TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY, before his death on THURSDAY. They do not know if he really died of cholera yet, but the sanitation situation in their area worries them.
Another resident, LAYTON CHIDEMO, has accused the Municipality of what he describes as its reactionary approach to the provision of safe water and sanitation to the area.
He says the authorities only attended to the burst sewer pipes after reports of the suspected outbreak, but they still have not disinfected the spill over.
ZIMBABWE is among SADC countries that are receiving above normal rains this season; amid warnings of potential heavy flooding that causes outbreaks of water-borne diseases like cholera./Sabanews/cam