Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has engaged Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to investigate violation of residents’ fundamental rights such as the right to clean, safe and portable water, following the death of four members of a Budiriro family who drowned in a well on Monday.
In a statement released on Tuesday, CHRA accused City of Harare of failing to provide water to residents adding that the Budiriro incident is one of the many cases of needless loss of life arising out of the failure by the local authority to offer effective service delivery.
“As a result of the failure by the council to provide safe water in residential areas, residents have resorted to digging wells and many cases of residents, especially children, dying in these wells have been recorded.
“On top of this, some of these wells are unprotected or are dug near toilets and this has exposed residents to diseases such as cholera and typhoid,” noted CHRA in a statement released on Tuesday.
CHRA added that Harare City Council must be held accountable for its failure to provide safe drinking water which is pushing people to take risky options including using unprotected wells resulting in loss of lives.
“Currently, Harare is grappling with a typhoid crisis and we have every reason to fear that if corrective measures are not taken, we will continue to witness needless loss of life in the capital,” added CHRA.
The organisation said Harare City Council’s priorities are highly misplaced with $9 million out of the $13 million collected monthly going towards salaries while only $1 million is reserved for service delivery.
According to CHRA, the four family members could have died from inhaling carbon monoxide as they were using a submersible pump inside the 15 meter deep well.