HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsSorting out Harare water problems long overdue

Sorting out Harare water problems long overdue


Reports that most of Harare’s water is contaminated are nothing new, as this has been the case for years, but the question is: What are the authorities doing about it?

Comment: NewsDay Editor


For a very long time, in spite of the obvious, the government has put on a brave face insisting water in the capital was fit for consumption, despite all the evidence pointing to the contrary.

Now, with the heavy rains, authorities have been caught napping and a disaster is looming.

Due to the authorities’ failure to provide water, thousands of residents have been forced to drill boreholes and dig wells in an effort to access the precious liquid.

This indiscriminate drilling and digging is not monitored and exposes residents to all manner of waterborne diseases.

The country’s health is dependent on the quality of water its citizens get.

Because of the heavy rains, the water table has risen and raw sewage and underground water are coming into contact and this could be disastrous for the capital’s health.

Further compounding issues is that Harare has had to deal with an outbreak of typhoid and more serious health problems could be in the offing if the city council and the government do not manage this water issue well.

Sorting out Harare’s water problems is long overdue and it does not make sense that the country’s capital has such issues in this day and age.

Water and sewer reticulation infrastructure should be prioritised if the country is to get rid of 19th century infections such as cholera and typhoid.

Drilling of boreholes should not be a need, but rather a matter of preference, instead of the situation in Harare that people have no choice but to resort to borehole water because of the city’s failure to provide clean water, or any kind of water at all.

Digging wells should be a preserve for rural areas and not the capital city, which has ambitions of being a world-class city by 2025.

As long as Harare does not sort out its water issues, then it can forget about being a world-class city and it can be content with being an African backwater.

The water problem has bedevilled Harare for too long and it is beyond belief that the authorities still have not sorted it out.

The government and City of Harare ought to prioritise this water situation, as it has long gotten out of hand and reached unacceptable levels.

If the water situation is not given the priority it deserves, then the government might as well start preparing for the worst, as diarrhoeal diseases are soon to break out and the health delivery system may not be able to cope.

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