Community Water Alliance, a movement, is proposing a declaration of disaster regarding Zimbabwe’s water. As well sanitation and hygiene sector with concern on the ever-escalating crisis of potable water provision in almost every local authority in the country.
The call comes at a time when city councils are rationing water for the increasing populations in Zimbabwe’s urban areas.
“The crisis is manifesting through dwindling water levels in dams where local authorities abstract water for treatment before distributing to citizens,” Community Water Alliance National Chairperson, Hildaberta Rwambiwa said.
“Besides dwindling water levels in dams; there is serious siltation in dams, very high water pollution levels, poor catchment management and wetlands depletion, poor quality of potable water, insufficient potable water, obsolete infrastructure, crisis of foreign currency availability for water treatment chemicals, poor funding for water projects, downgraded sewerage and water treatment plants.”
Besides a declaration for disaster, the movement is also proposing the convening of a national stakeholder indaba to shape the course of water delivery in Zimbabwe and ensure water defines the 2018-2023 government term.
The alliance is also proposing transparency and accountability of duty bearers on access to water.
“The water movement’s demands and appeal are guided by obligations of state actors encapsulated in our laws and the complimentary role of International Non-Government Organizations in ensuring that human beings have access safe, clean, sufficient potable water in line with international humanitarian standards,” Rwambiwa said.
According to section 77 of Zimbabwe’s constitution “Every person has a right to –
(a) safe, clean and potable water and the State must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it , to achieve the progressive realisation of this right.”
Lack of potable water has been blamed for the cholera outbreak that hit Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.
“Majority of Local Authorities are proposing water rationing in Zimbabwe and this is likely to cause a health disaster if the situation is not handled properly,” Rwambiwa.