I was very much pained by the tragedy which happened in Chitungwiza when a 5 000-litre tank fell on three children, two of them aged nine and 18 months, died. The third boy aged seven escaped with a fractured leg.
By Tororiro Isaac Chaza, Reader
Apparently, the steel structure was not built on a concrete platform. Also, this was a new installation which failed on first use.
As I discussed with other concerned people, it turned out there are a number of incidents of falling tanks, which may not have been tragic, but definitely potentially tragic.
Due to the water woes in urban areas, there is a proliferation of tanks being erected on steel structures, some of which are as high as six metres for maximum gravity flow of the water.
Knowing us Zimbabweans, we try to do such an installation at minimum cost or even below cost if possible. Only in Zimbabwe does one find a pricing methodology which is negotiated below the minimum cost, with total disregard to quality and hence safety.
The questions I have are: What lessons have we learned? Who is supposed to police the quality standards?
There surely needs to be a quality standard, which can be drawn up by the bodies such as the Standards Association of Zimbabwe and policed by the city authorities
and certificates granted.
All structures without certificates would be pulled down and redone. There should be a specific timeframe for compliance.
If this is done judiciously and professionally, we can avert future unwarranted deaths.
I believe the citizens, as the buyers, must be vigilant.
Why endanger the lives of your family members and neighbours by allowing a shoddy installation?
It is the buyer’s responsibility to ascertain the quality and safety standards required to make sure these are adhered to under the caveat emptor principle.
Cheap installations endanger precious lives.