by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – SOME residents have dragged the Zimbabwean government to court for failure to provide water and exposing members of the public to death through an outbreak of diseases.
The Community Water Alliance Trust (CWAT) has hauled President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to the High Court seeking an order to compel the government to urgently act and ensure the provision of water to Harare residents and avert a crisis and potential loss of lives.
CWAT protested that despite the calamity of the water crisis, Mnangagwa had not exercised his powers to declare a state of disaster in the country’s most populous city of over 1,6 million people.
A state of disaster would allow for the intervention of the central government and donor support to avert a foreseeable imminent disaster.
CWAT argued that local and central government’s failure to supply safe, clean and potable water constitutes a breach of residents’ rights enshrined in section 77 of the Constitution and indicated that the right to water is necessary for the enjoyment of other human rights such as the right to life, human dignity, health and food.
The matter is yet to be set down for hearing at the High Court.
Residents in most suburbs of Harare, the capital, have gone for long periods without access to running water after authorities recently announced it was shutting down the Morton Jaffray water treatment plant.
City leaders have cited foreign currency shortages to purchase water treatment chemicals.
Lack of clean water and sanitation facilities are blamed for the intermittent of outbreaks such as cholera and dysentery in the Southern African country.
- CAJ News