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Water woes a national disaster: Parly

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BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
LEGISLATORS have raised a red flag over the country’s perennial water challenges and called for a supplementary budget on water provision.

Warren Park MP Shakespear Hamauswa (Citizens Coalition for Change) moved a motion last week that water challenges would cause disease outbreaks such as cholera and dysentery.

Hamauswa said section 77(a) of the Constitution stipulates that every citizen has a right to safe, clean and potable water.

“We are disturbed that the continuous erratic water supplies within both rural and urban local authorities remain a recipe for disaster, especially in the context of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” he said.

“The House must resolve to urgently request a supplementary budget from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, which will be devoted solely for water and sanitation in the year 2022, in view of the need to maintain hygienic standards especially during the COVID-19 global epidemic.”

Seconder of the motion, Buhera Central MP Mathew Nyashanu (Zanu PF) said: “The population is increasing and, therefore, the demand for water resources is also increasing. I implore the Zimbabwe National Water Authority to build capacities that are necessary for water provision in urban areas. In areas like Mbare (Harare), where many people are living in densely populated environments, we need water so that the Sustainable Development Goal 6 is achieved by our nation.”

Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya (CCC) said the water problem should be declared a national emergency.

“What needs to be done is for central government to come in and ensure that all local authorities, be it urban or rural, are well capacitated so that they provide water to each and every person,” he said.

In her 2020 report, Auditor-General Mildred Chiri revealed that the majority of residents in Zimbabwe’s major urban areas were drinking sewage-contaminated water due to poor management systems by local authorities.

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