This emerged during a community focus group discussion held in the area. This meeting was organised by the Harare Residents Trust residents’ committee for the area, in line with one of the organisation’s objectives, of monitoring and evaluating service delivery by service providers.
Below are the issues that were raised by the residents:
Water supplies are inadequate. Residents queue at borehole points to fetch water for domestic use. Mostly women and children are seen at long, winding queues in an effort to fetch water.
There are currently four boreholes in the community. To address the water situation, residents urged the City of Harare to increase its pumping capacity and purify the water to be safe for drinking for an area which was not spared by typhoid and cholera outbreaks.
Refuse collection is inconsistent in the area. Refuse should be collected on Wednesdays but since the beginning of April, the City of Harare only collected refuse on April 25, yet they charge for four collections a month.
Rentals and accommodation
The area has high rental costs for tenants per month. One room is being charged U$80, including electricity and water rates.
Regardless of the erratic water and power supplies, landlords still require rates for these services because council and Zesa continue to charge them for undelivered services.
Apart from the rentals, a tenant is required to pay additional money for toiletries such as harpic and tissues.
They are supposed to pay an additional US$10 per month as part of the household maintenance fees — termed duty. This includes tasks such as cleaning the toilets and sweeping the yards.
Bachelors at the meeting expressed concern about this because they said they cannot perform such chores and hence were required to pay women who can do it for them. This has also become a source of survival for unemployed women in the community.
The drainage system is blocked due to continuous erosion of the gravelled roads in the community, and the situation gets worse during the rainy season.
Poor waste management practices have also contributed to blockages along the drainage system, as uncollected garbage piles alongside roads and subsequently blocks the drainages.
Residents fear floods during downpours. Residents urged the council to clear all drainage in the area. Residents also complained about roads that remained with no names, and are heavily potholed.
Estimated billing by Zesa has eroded the little confidence left in the national power utility. Residents are convinced, this estimated billing is being manipulated by corrupt officials at Zesa. Residents have huge outstanding debts which resulted in massive power disconnections in during the past weeks.
Residents said they would not settle debts based on estimates, but would only pay for accurate readings. To address the situation, residents said they preferred the prepaid meter system.
Representation by councillor
Ward 45 Councillor, Girisoti Mandere, said the poor state of service delivery was largely attributed to the political situation in council, where some city managers and other appointees were frustrating efforts by the elected councillors. — BY Harare Residents Trust (HRT)