A British-based research group, the Economist Intelligence Unit, has ranked Harare, the country’s capital city as the worst city to live in globally, in what could be a vote of no confidence in the country’s recovery path.
In a research report released last Thursday, the group said the prevalence of violent crime and threat of military conflict in Zimbabwe made the city undesirable while the threat of civil unrest and conflict remained real.
“Harare is the lowest-scoring city at just 38,2%, relative liveability index 44% while the liveability ranking out of 140 countries is 140. Although this score is an improvement on the previous survey score of 37,5%, driven by better availability of goods and services, the situation remains challenging across all indicators.
“Despite hopes of elections in 2011, stability and healthcare scores of just 25% and 20,8% respectively highlight the city’s bleak prospects,” said the report.
The report said the stability rating of Harare was 25%, its relative stability index at 36%, whereas the healthcare rating was 21%.
Harare’s relative healthcare index was pegged 23% while New York was rated 100%.
The report said the concept of liveability assessed locations around the world that provided the best or the worst living conditions.
“The culture and environment rating of Harare is 56%. The relative culture and environment index in New York is 100% while in Harare it is 61%. The level of censorship is undesirable, recreational facilities such as sports, culture, food and drink are uncomfortable.”
“The quality of road network, public transport, regional or international links, energy provision, water provision, telecommunications infrastructure are uncomfortable, undesirable and intolerable,” said the report.
Melbourne and Vienna were rated the two easiest cities to live in.
The survey excluded places such as Kabul in Afghanistan and Baghdad in Iraq.
The liveability score is reached through category weights that are divided into subcategories to ensure that the score covers as many indicators as possible. Indicators are scored as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable.
These are then weighted to produce a rating, where 100 means that liveability in a city is ideal and one means that it is intolerable.