By Memory Chivhunga
Government has declared a State of Emergency on the water and sanitation situation currently plaguing the New Lines Area in Mbare, Harare.
Speaking during a post cabinet briefing, acting Information Minister Jenfan Muswere said the update on the water and sanitation situation was presented to the cabinet by the Acting Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, Mangaliso Ndlovu following a recent fact-finding visit to the area.
“Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that a fact-finding visit to the New Lines Area in Mbare, Harare by the Ministers of National Housing and Social Amenities; and Industry and Commerce, as well as officials from the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, and City of Harare revealed that the situation is dire and requires immediate intervention.
“Some of the problems are that the Harare City Council, which charges monthly rentals of US$100 per room, is not carrying out any repairs and maintenance and blockages are attended to by volunteers.
“Cabinet noted the report: declared the situation a state of emergency and directed that Devolution Funds be used for refurbishing the sewer system and garbage clearance; directed that the Ministry of Health and Child Care provides solution related to health and safety. Directed that families in poor habitation be profiled and provided with temporary shelter in the vicinity, while their houses are demolished and replaced with blocks of flats,” said Minister Muswere
The State of emergency comes at a time the nation is grappling with a cholera outbreak that has seen 2,076 reported cases so far with 15 succumbing to the water borne disease.