WATER wells and boreholes in Hopley, Harare, have been found to be contaminated with cholera bacteria, making the most commonly used sources of water unsafe to use.
Harare City Council’s education, health, housing, community services and licensing committee chairperson, Councillor Blessing Muroyiwa, said most of the affected areas are in unplanned settlements with no municipal services.
Water bowsers have been sent to provide clean water, but residents are being advised to take necessary precautions, such as buying their own water.
“We have since distributed free water in all affected areas, but we advise residents to buy their own water as we cannot afford to give every household,” said Muroyiwa.
Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Douglas Mombeshora, made a commitment at a health conference in Morocco to improve water and sanitation services in Zimbabwe.
He said this was even more pressing given the recent outbreak of cholera.
“ sWe currently have an outbreak of cholera and this has also been reported in urban areas, which should not be the case.
“This is because there is poor management of waste by the city fathers.
“Most boreholes in the high-density suburbs have been found to be contaminated.
“In the first place, we should be providing safe drinking water to all our citizens in the urban areas, but now we are finding the opposite.
“People in the rural areas are the ones who have safe water, not water that is contaminated by faecal material. We are looking at addressing those issues of providing safe drinking water to our population,” he said.
The Government has also granted ZINWA the power to manage Harare’s water supply with immediate effect.