Young women in Bulawayo have been encouraged to hold local authorities accountable and demand for transparency in the manner in which decisions are made and how public offices are run.
These sentiments were shared by Yollander Millin Gender, youth and human rights activist and Social and Economic Justice Ambassador (SEJA).
Millin said this during a commemoration of the Day of the African Child which was conducted this morning to discuss “Water rights and access to quality education.”
“There is need for us to be involved as citizens in public meetings so that we influence the decisions that are being made. If people do not attend, decisions will be made for them,” she said.
Millin also noted that citizens should be at the forefront of demanding fulfilment of their right to quality water. She explained that citizens should have adequate access to water and cited that the Water Policy of 2012 and the Constitution of Zimbabwe should enable women and young women to access clean and portable water.
Speaking during the same event Ward 4 Councillor Silas Chigora shared that Bulawayo City Council is focusing on the rehabilitation of pumps and piping in order to increase volume of water from dams to treatment works.
“BCC in partnership with AFDB has been replacing pipes in the western areas. Fernhill, Criterion and Ncema pumps are being revamped.
Zimiso Khumalo a gender champion from Pumula South highlighted that ,the water crisis is significantly affecting children.
“I have experienced cases where children could go to fetch water by the borehole before going to learn and it is so sad that most of their time will be spent fetching water instead of reading books,” he said.
Councillor Natasha Musasa from the Bulawayo Junior Council noted that the water crisis has affected their ability to perform adequately in their studies as they are forced to fetch water either before going to school or after school.
“In worse scenarios, schools now requested for children to attend classes with water,” she said.
The meeting was conducted by Youth Invest in partnership with Women’s institute for Leadership development.
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