The Media must consistently and constantly report on water, sanitation, and hygiene in Zimbabwean, with a view to lay bare some of the bottlenecks hampering the provision of potable water and sanitation services mostly in urban areas.
The need to prioritize reporting on water, sanitation and hygiene in urban areas was reiterated by various speakers at a Zoom Conference organized by Media Center tackling issues of water, sanitation, and hygiene in Zimbabwe’s urban areas.
‘’The Media must constantly and consistently report on water, sanitation, and hygiene in the Zimbabwean Urban areas said Ms. Patience Zirima- the Director of Media Monitors. Zirima further added that the media must consistently and constantly report on water issues than merely wait to report on water, hygiene, and sanitation when there is a disease outbreak like cholera and Typhoid.
Alice Kuveya of Chitungwiza Residents and Ratepayers Associations highlighted that the Chitungwiza water system represents a retrogressive water management system, in the form of dilapidated water infrastructure. She further asserted that Chitungwiza is relying on Harare for water as it has no sources of water of its own.
Kuveya also indicated that due to the lack of clean and potable water from their home taps, residents of Chitungwiza are now resorting to getting water from boreholes dug mainly by development partners. According to Kuveya getting water from boreholes has challenges of its own like lack of social distancing during this Covid-19 pandemic.
Kuveya said municipalities are losing a lot of water through leakages.
The Mayor of Harare Mr. Jacob Mafume argued that it will be difficult to realize actual sanitation in Zimbabwean urban areas as some citizens use rudimentary latrines. He further said that all the water bodies have now been outstripped by demand. He also emphasized the need for proper devolution of city organs and the requirement of municipal bonds to address issues of infrastructure development in municipalities.
Another panelist at the Webinar Conference Mr. Hardlife Mudzingwa of Community Water Alliance(CWA) said their organization is effectively channeling information on water, sanitation, and hygiene through social media platforms such as Whatsapp groups, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on.
Mr. Precious Shumba of Harare Residents Trust (HRT) also bemoaned challenges of polarization amongst the city fathers.