Murambatsvina victims instal sewer system

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Some 3 300 victims of government’s brutal 2005 forced evictions, code-named Operation Murambatsvina, who were allocated unserviced stands in Cowdray Park as a stop-gap measure under Hlalani Kuhle/Garikai housing scheme, have pooled their resources together and installed water and sewer reticulation systems to their houses.

The families were allocated unserviced stands in late 2005 after the government demolished their houses in a crackdown that left about 700 000 people internally displaced.

Bulawayo Home Seekers Consortium Trust’s (BHSCT) project coordinator Mkhululi Nyathi said so far they had gone half-way with the construction of sanitation facilities which had been stopped by water-logging during the just-ended rainy season.

“We have been doing our work in segments and water as well as sewer reticulation is in our segment five and we have gone 50% in sewer reticulation. Water reticulation hasn’t gone too far but we have started working on it,” said Nyathi.

He said about 3 000 stands were at various levels of construction adding construction of roads at the site had eased transport in the area.

“This has come as a relief to residents as public transport was now servicing the area. We have constructed culverts and splash drains on the roads. Work is progressing with a number of culverts and splash drains having been completed this year,” he said.

Nyathi said BHSCT was also taking necessary steps to ensure that residents employ environmentally-friendly human waste disposal methods.

On May 19 2005, President Mugabe launched a brutal campaign of forced evictions, under “Operation Murambatsvina.”

Armed police led the crackdown, demolishing and torching thousands of alleged illegal dwellings and makeshift stalls of small traders, claiming they were “unlicensed”.

The United Nations’ special envoy Anna Tibaijuka produced a damning report condemning the demolitions and mass displacement of people from urban centres as grossly inhumane.