The state of service delivery in the city of Harare is currently appaling. The weekly city watch presents a snap survey of the state of affairs as at 24 january 2009.
Water supply and the sewer reticulation management
Most parts of Harare are still experiencing dry spells and chances of the water situation improving soon are slim as the ZINWA staff is currently on strike due to the non-availability of protective clothing and competitive remuneration. Areas like Glenview, Budiriro, Glen Norah, and Msasa Park, Mabvuku-Tafara, Mandara, Glen Lorne, Marlborough and parts of Hatfield have gone without water supplies for the past two weeks. CHRA has received reports from ward(s) leadership in Highfield that the Lusaka and Paradise areas have not received water supplies since mid-December last year. UNICEF is still providing water to residents but residents have pointed out that water is not enough hence they are supplementing by fetching water from Mukuvisi River. Kuwadzana 3 is experiencing water cuts on a daily basis and supplies are only available for a maximum of seven hours a day (usually between 10pm and 5am). However, some parts of Kuwadzana (especially Kuwadzana 4, 5 and 6), Dzivarasekwa, Avondale, some parts of Highfield and the Avenues area in the city centre receive regular water supplies.
Most high density areas in Harare remain plagued with pools of raw sewerage as ZINWA has failed to attend to burst sewer pipes. A snap survey of the state of the sewer system is tabulated below;
Problem and Duration
55 Avenue and the area close to the Kuwadzana 4 Shopping centre. Raw sewerage has been flowing into the yards of the houses that are along 55 Avenue.
The burst sewer pipes around this area have not been fixed since the beginning of 2008.
Lusaka, Jerusalem and Paradise
Unabated sewer bursts for more than six months.
An area called the ‘Callbox’ and near Bulawayo Road
Dzivarasekwa ward 40
Robert Mugabe and Pasipanodya Roads, Musika Road (which stretches into ward 39), Gushungo Street and Mutanga Road.
Raw sewer has been a problem since the beginning of 2008
Area 7 along Zambezi Street, 24th and 23rd Avenues in Area 3.
Other affected areas include Glen Norah, Budiriro, Mbare, Mufakose, Kambuzuma and Warren Park.
The 2009 National Budget Highlights on water and sewer management.
- Return of water and sewer management (from Zinwa) to the Harare City Council
- US$31, 2 million for water and sewer provision in both urban and rural authorities.
- US$12,9 million allocated to the Harare City Council
- US$4,3 million allocated for the resuscitation of Morton Jeffray Water Works
- US$1 million allocated for pipe replacement
The return of water and sewer management to the City of Harare, potentially means, among other things:
- Increased revenue for the City Council (more than 89%).
- Effective management of water and sewer systems.
- Increased residents` participation in policy making regarding service delivery
- Residents` realization of value for their money
- Improved health, recreational, social welfare and other service provision
- Improved capacity of the City of Harare to attract investment.
- Return of council asserts.
The distribution of power supplies has not been uniform throughout the city with some areas experiencing power cuts on a daily basis while others experience power cuts occasionally. There are areas in Mabvuku-Tafara (especially Mabvuku ward 19) that have not been receiving supplies for more than a year now. Electricity transformers that serve the Muchirinji and Nyamaturi and areas around Simudzai Primary School area in Mabvuku got burnt early last year due to a fault and they have not been fixed to date; a situation that has seen residents who live in these areas being forced to make do without electricity. There are also reports from Mabvuku that a syndicate of ZEDC electricians are stealing fuses from transformers so as to stop them from working so that they can demand money (in foreign currency) from unsuspecting residents to ‘fix’ the same transformers. Residents along Chipita, Manyashe, Gurudzi, around Batanai Primary School and Muda Roads in Ward 19 have fallen prey to the daylight robbery.
Kuwadzana 5 and 6 is experiencing constant power cuts due to faults that occur at least twice a week. Residents in Lusaka, Highfield get power for only four hours on a daily basis. However most areas in the Northern suburbs, e.g. Mabelreign, Emerald Hill, Sunridge, Greecroft, Masasa, Greendale, Highlands and Avondale had regular supplies of electricity during the past week.
Generally, refuse has not been collected in almost every suburb of the city and informal dumping sites have increased as a result. In Glenview, for example, there are piles of refuse along 2nd and 3rd Avenues, Glenview 3 Primary School and at most open spaces in the suburb. In Kuwadzana, refuse is being dumped near Kuwadzana 8 Primary School, Kuwadzana Sub-District Office, at the local clinic and at most street corners. Open spaces that surround Mbare Musika and the Matapi area are now an eyesore due to uncollected refuse.
The bread basket
The semi-dollarisation of the economy has made the cost of living unaffordable to most residents who still get their income in Zimbabwean dollars. Most retail outlets (licensed and unlicensed) are now charging their goods in US$ or the South African Rand. Even basic commodities are being charged in foreign currency. What makes matters worse is the fact that there is virtually no means through which residents who get their income in the local currency can access foreign currency as the banks are not selling hard currency and those who try to access the much needed cash through the black market are being harassed by the police.
The following table shows the cost of living for the past week; for an average family of six, living in Harare.
The political atmosphere
| ||Goods/Service||Price (US$)||ZAR|
10 kg Mealie meal
2litres Cooking oil
6 kgs Economy Beef @ $3 /kg
Transport per week @ $ 0,50 per trip (where 1 person works in town, and 3 children commute to school, 5 days a week)
4 loaves of bread @ $0,80 per loaf x 7 days
2 kg sugar
6 litres of drink @$3 per 2litres
Zimbabwe is still without an official Government and the implementation of the September 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA) which will culminate in the formation of an inclusive government by the MDC formation and ZANU PF is yet to materialize. The continued absence of a legitimate Government and delay in the implementation of the GPA has seen the city of Harare and the country sinking deeper into the myriad of socio-economic and political crises. The political crisis has been characterized by, among other things, illegal abductions of human rights activists and various forms of human rights abuses. The Harare residents have born and continue to bear the burdens of a collapsed Social Services system. It is the residents` hope that the GPA may provide the basis for socio-economic recovery and culminate in institutional reforms that will culminate in a clear trajectory towards a democratic Zimbabwe.
The delivery of quality municipal services remains a challenge, mainly due to the amount of damage that was done by the illegal Makwavarara-led Commission. CHRA hopes that the elected Council will work tirelessly to restore the city to its ‘Sunshine’ status. The Association also urges the Harare city Councilors to ensure the maximum participation of residents in Council projects and holding of regular consultative meetings with residents so that they can also contribute to the policy formulation and decision making processes in the city. The Association will continue to closely monitor the service delivery situation in the city and also to advocate for good governance and quality and affordable service delivery.