HomeLocal NewsBCC agrees to supply Ngozi Mine squatters with clean water

BCC agrees to supply Ngozi Mine squatters with clean water

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BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has agreed to supply Ngozi Mine squatters with water for a fee.

This was revealed in the latest Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) Public Resource Management monthly report. The community came about as a result of the Murambatsvina displacements of 2005, the Chikorokoza Chapera displacements of 2006, and political displacements.

“Ngozi Mine is an internally-displaced settlement lacking access to basic services like housing and water services. It is a landfill site that houses up to 1 000 people, of which children under the age of 12 constitute approximately 40% of the population,” the Zimcodd report read.

“The water that was being used for domestic purposes from the time of engagement with the community was not fit for human consumption, and there was a grave threat being posed to human lives as children were drinking unprotected pond water in which chemical waste is dumped, due to lack of immediate access to clean water fit for consumption.”

The report stated that failure by the BCC to provide water to the Ngozi Mine squatters was because council viewed them as rowdy criminals that would victimise their workers.

“They also indicated that if the water could be supplied, then it would be an injustice to rate-paying citizens as the people in Ngozi neither pay rent or rates, which meant they would be benefiting from the efforts of others. However, continuous discussions between the council and Zimcodd and other residents were held.

“Application for water to be supplied to Ngozi Mine on the condition that the residents would commit to paying a specified amount to an established water committee was done. These funds would buy water at city council prescribed rates that were in line with the charging system used for other locations, as well as cater for fuel for vehicles that would transport the water.”

Zimcodd said on September 30, the council agreed to allocate water to Ngozi Mine for as long as the above conditions were adhered to.

It noted that periodic meetings would be held by the parties to ensure continuity of the water supplies and serve as a monitoring and evaluation process.

“As of October 7, the 2×5 250-litre tanks had been received from well-wishers and another 18 000-liter tank had been gifted towards the cause and BCC had honoured its end of the deal and provided the water,” the report reads.

Bulawayo deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube referred all questions to the area councillor.

Ward councillor Joyce Ndlovu said she had not yet received such information.

“What I know is that for a long time, the council has been refusing to give them water as it regarded those residents as criminals. If they are now receiving water, then that is something new,” Ndlovu said.

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