By Primrose Tagutanadzo
No clean water, blocked drainage and sewage systems, burst sewer pipes and overflowing effluent has become a common feature in Harare’s oldest suburb, Mbare.
Residents are exposed and vulnerable to communicable diseases such as cholera, malaria and diarrhoea.
Disposal of waste in restricted area has become the habit for both residents and industries operating in the area.
The uncollected waste has become the hatching ground for the germs.
Poor sanitation has resulted in increased infant morbidity and mortality rate as a result of unsafe water in densely populated areas in Mbare of Magaba and Matapi flats.
Despite overpopulation and overcrowding, safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) has become the only way to save Mbare residents. Rehabilitation of blocked sewer and drainage systems, provision of safe drinking water, frequent refuse collection and maintaining burst sewer pipes is key in addressing the plight of residents.
Mbare resident Sylvester Mavhimira said clean water and functioning toilets were needed to maintain healthy standards in the area.
“We have the right to clean and safe environment and by failing to maintain it they are infringing people’s rights,” he said.
Masvingo based private Doctor Makurira said, “Many children suffer weakness and malnutrition as a result of parasites or environmental enteropathy, a sub-clinical infection that of stomach that interferes with the absorption of nutrients.”
First lady Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa has raised awareness on how to manage and control human excretion by donating sanitary wear to the less vulnerable school children in remote areas.
UNICEF in support of peoples healthy and sanitation launched community based hand-washing in-order to remind people to stay clean and smart all the time.
World Health Organization said that 11 percent of deaths per annum were as a result of inadequate sanitation services.