On Thursday, we heard Redcliff resident @Tendai_Mbofana  report that residents of Redcliff had no access to water as ZINWA had cut off water supply due to non-payment of debt from the city.

A call to Eng Muparuri at ZINWA’s Gweru office confirmed that ZINWA had reduced water supply to the City of Kwekwe because the city is not paying its debts to ZINWA.

It is now Day 6 without water. Redcliff has no community boreholes and residents are struggling to access the water they need to flush their toilets, bath, cook, drink and clean. Whilst the City of Kwekwe needs to honour its debts, should the residents of Redcliff (many of whom individually may be paying their water bills) be the ones who suffer the consequences of an account dispute between ZINWA and Kwekwe? Earlier this year, the Constitutional Court ruled that, without a court order, a municipality cannot cut off a resident’s water for non-payment. Surely a similar process should apply if ZINWA wants to cut off a municipality’s water supply?

Get Active! Email ZINWA on pr [at] zinwa [dot] co [dot] zw and let them know what you think.

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Did you know that most of Harare’s open spaces are wetlands and are our primary water source? Our water comes from these wetlands, which provide many free benefits to residents. Download this informative poster courtesy of Conservation Society of Monavale Trust (COSMO) and BirdLife Zimbabwe to find out more.

Download poster (7.5MB PDF)

Zimbabwe needs more Itai Dzamaras

ZINARA, wake up and smell the coffee

We got this comment from a subscriber in response to plans by ZINARA to de-register unlicensed vehicles

The Chief Executive Officer of ZINARA must consider giving motorists who have not been able to license their vehicles due to that harsh economic climate obtaining in the country an amnesty and license fees relief on condition that they license their vehicles within a certain set deadline.

The notice from ZINARA and  news circling in the print media that unlicensed vehicles will be de-registered is quite unsettling. We live in quite hard times. Most firms have scaled down operations or closed down altogether. As a result many people have been rendered jobless. These are the same people who are holding on to the only assets they have left that include their vehicles for which they have not been able to pay insurance let alone licenses fees for. The current penalties being levied by ZINARA are excessive hence some people have opted to keep their vehicles unlicensed.

ZESA, Tel One, City of Harare and other municipalities, the RBZ etc. have given defaulting clients a moratorium based on certain conditions. Each of these organizations needs and wants to keep their clients that is why they give them the breaks/reliefs.

The question to ask ZINARA is why are they being arrogant?  ZINARA needs those motorists as much as the motorist needs Road Administrator.

ZINARA, its time you re-think your policies. It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Almost one in nine people in the world still do not have enough to eat according to a report entitled The State of Food Insecurity in the World compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme. Undernourishment in developing regions of the world has declined from 23.4 to 13.5 percent in 2012 up to 2014. World Maps of the Share (%) of Undernourished People per Country show that Africa is lagging behind in tackling hunger, as 226.7 million people are reported to be undernourished, sometimes going to bed hungry each night.  As recorded in the period from 2010-12, Zimbabwe shows a 32.8 percent prevalence of undernourishment – a slight decline from the previously reported 38.2 percent in 2004-06 period.

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Chaz Maviyane-Davies

But where’s the water in the taps?

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Laundry day on Saturday in Glen Norah, just off Mbudzi roundabout, Mukuvisi river. Photos by Chirikure Chirikure.

The rate of expansion in informal settlements currently being experienced in most urban areas of Zimbabwe clearly shows the critical need for the government to provide low cost social housing for low-income earners. Part of this massive expansion of informal settlements in and around greater Harare and other cities has been mainly attributed to people who are selling land for profit in urban and peri-urban areas.

A few years ago government responded to the build up of informal settlements through Operation Murambatsvina, which left many people with no shelter.  Efforts to provide decent accommodation after Murambatsvina only benefited a few leading to a re-emergence of informal settlements in and around urban areas. Almost 9 years after Murambatsvina government has failed to provide decent affordable housing to people, and the demand for accommodation has risen sharply forcing many to join housing cooperatives as an alternative.  Land developers have cashed in on the desperate situation. There is chaos in residential stands allocation prompting government to respond with another wave of housing demolitions.

Presenting a paper on social housing under the topic “Finding a solution to the need for low cost housing” at the Netherlands Embassy, Eddie Cross said that the current housing crisis in urban areas calls for the provision of low cost housing units using local entrepreneurship skills and technology supported by bond funding.  Some of the strategies suggested in the paper include upgrading and formalizing informal settlements through planning and provision of roads, water and sanitation facilities.

Zimbabwe still uses housing systems inherited from the Smith regime and some of the existing facilities no longer cope with the growing population. The refurbishing and upgrading of existing housing, like blocks of flats in Mbare, will unlock the value of the properties and make them habitable. Many residents are yet to enjoy property rights and risk losing their houses, as they do not possess the title deeds. Providing house owners with title will incentivise communities to further develop their areas and at the same time help address historical, social and political imbalances.

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