Provide water to residents: Chitown told

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THE High Court has ordered Chitungwiza Municipality to ensure uninterrupted supply of water to their residents as part of efforts to contain the spread of the lethal coronavirus (Covid-19).

The order delivered on Tuesday by High Court judge Owen Tagu, followed an urgent chamber application by the Chitungwiza Residents Trust (Chitrest) to compel the municipality to provide residents with clean and enough water during the 21-day lockdown.

It was granted by consent from both parties as there were no reasonable grounds for objection.
They cited Chitungwiza Municipality, Local Government minister July Moyo, Health minister Obadiah Moyo and Finance minister Mthuli Ncube as respondents.

“The court has ordered Chitungwiza Municipality to ensure adequate and constant supply of water to residents and also faulted the municipality for violating residents’ right to access to clean safe and potable water,” the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights representing Chitrest confirmed.

In their application, Chitrest argued that police officers enforcing the lockdown were forcibly dispersing them from community boreholes, a move that could expose them to the deadly virus. The residents said on March 30, police forcibly dispersed them from community boreholes in Zengeza 2, 4, 5 and Unit K where they were queuing to fetch water for domestic use.

The residents said Chitungwiza experienced erratic and at times no provision of adequate and safe water for domestic use.

They said the right to water was a fundamental human right and the failure by the authority to provide running water to them was in breach of that right.

“Lack of water leads to violation of the right to life and directly or indirectly the contraction of deadly diseases that are water borne.”

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