Water Disconnections Will Dent Fight Against COVID-19.
Harare residents say the move by Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) to disconnect water in a bid to recover $2.4 billion owed by it’s clients, will severely erode government’s efforts to fight COVID-19.
In an interview with Community Radio Harare (CORAH), Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) programmes manager Reuben Akili said COVID-19 requires citizens to maintain hygiene standards through the use of sufficient safe and running water.
Akili further noted that water disconnections undermine and renders state’s endeavour to minimize the chances of spreading the pandemic and will only lead to an increase in the spread of of COVID-19.
Some of the residents have raised issues of lack of respect of the constitutional right to water, especially in relation to the fight against COVID-19.
Community Water Alliance orgazation leader, Hardlife Mudzingwa said massive disconnections are not justified as water is needed to meet one of World Health Organization (WHO) major prevention protocols which is constant washing of hands under running water.
“You need to look at other less restrictive measurements that can be put in place than implementing disconnections, the nature of the human right to water is such that water has no other alternative. The moment you undertake massive disconnections, what it means is you are forcing women to go and congest at public water points and boreholes”, said Mudzingwa
Community Water Alliance added that water disconnections by ZINWA would result in public water points being active hotspots of the COVID-19 pandemic across the country.
ZINWA corporate communications and marketing manager Marjorie Munyonga confirmed that some state departments, parastatals, industry, schools, households and churches are amongst clients who need to settle their accounts to enable uninterrupted services.
Meanwhile residents associations in Harare urge water consumers to consider paying their water bills in time to help government in combating COVID-19.