UMZINGWANE Residents residing in Ward 16 have expressed concern over the increment of water bills by the Rural District Council despite them going for months without water.
The public outcry comes at a time when Residents are struggling to fend for their families due to the harsh economic situation in Zimbabwe which has been worsened by effects of climate change.
Speaking during a Citizen Assembly hosted by Women Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) on 30 November 2022, Umzingwane Residents noted that apart from water scarcity, there are a myriad of challenges that they’re grappling with, in their Community.
“ We have been receiving water bills that are far beyond our reach financially. Surprisingly, we barely have water from our taps so we have been relying on rain collection in this rainy season”, said a participant
“ Apart from water being scarce, there are many challenges we are facing within our Community and these range from burst sewer pipes, poor street lighting as well as dumping of used pampers which has become a health hazard,”said a Resident.
Despite concerted efforts being made to raise these concerns with Local Authorities, Umzingwane Residents highlighted more needs to be done in implementing the proposed solutions.
“We have raised these concerns before with our Local Authorities however we think that more needs to be done to address these service delivery issues ,”said the Residents.
Section 77 (a) states that every person has the right to safe, clean and potable water. Section 59 also indicates that every person has the right to demonstrate and present petitions. As such, a call was made to petition local authorities like council and ZINWA with immediate effect so that their concerns are taken into consideration.
Women continue to bear the brunt of the aforementioned service delivery challenges as they are caregivers to their families and are responsible for house chores that require a lot of water such as cooking, cleaning, washing and sanitation.
Despite being aware of water levels at dams, residents contemplated that water should be availed during the day and not at midnight, as they are being exposed to danger during night.
“Water should be availed during the day and not midnight as it exposes us to a lot of dangers like wild animals and thugs ”
On the other hand, residents highlighted on numbers of problems that they encountered in their area, like streets lights as there is increase of crime rate due to darkness in other areas.
“We need street lights,as most places are very dark in the night and you cannot walk in those zones.The thieves have taken advantage of that and thus why there is now an increase in cases of mugging “, said one of the participants.
Residents also lamented people who dispose of pampers everywhere. Not only is this unhygienic but it poses a threat to contaminate their sources of water and it’s not safe for their environment.
A clarion call was made to EMA officials to raise awareness on these issues as well as remind residents of the stiff penalties, they’re likely to face for littering the environment.