A health time bomb is ticking in Rimuka’s SQGB section due to overcrowding.
The housing units were originally designed for single tenants but are now home to large families. A visit by NewsDay on Tuesday revealed the squalid living conditions in the area.
The visit showed an estimated 2 000 residents share a couple of filthy communal toilets with broken-down flushing systems while heaps of uncollected garbage litter the streets.
Two people have so far succumbed to diarrhoea due to the unhygienic living conditions, the city’s health authorities have confirmed.
Residents of the area are mostly victims of the 2005 “Operation Murambatsvina/Restore Order” who were forced to squat at the compound where rentals are affordable. The clean-up operation saw the demolition of illegal structures in Rimuka, which offered cheap lodgings to mostly former David Whitehead Textiles employees.
A resident, Enock Manwere said:“the council should devise an urgent plan to avoid a health disaster. People will die of cholera. As you can see, the living conditions here are unbearable. Raw sewer and garbage are a menace but council seems to be blind to these problems.”
Kadoma town clerk Malvern Dondo said council would next year upgrade the SQGB section to improve the health and sanitation standards.
“There are plans to upgrade the houses. These housing units were originally designed to accommodate single persons, but they now cater for large families, putting a strain on the sewer system causing blockages and a general deterioration in health standards,” Dondo said.
Dondo said rehabilitation of the houses would see each being equipped with a self-contained ablution system, adding council would also use part of the $49 million 2012 budget to service residential stands for low-income earners in a bid to decongest the area.
He, however, conceded refuse collection remained a challenge owing to depleted refuse collection fleet.