National Housing Minister Daniel Garwe and Industry and Commerce Minister Sekai Nzenza have expressed deep concern over the dire state of water and sanitation health in the Mbare suburb.
The government officials yesterday visited the area to assess the situation following a cholera outbreak in the capital and were appalled by the lack of basic services and rampant littering.
During their visit, Garwe addressed a gathering of Mbare residents, highlighting the pressing issue of sewage bills being levied by the council despite the absence of any corresponding services.
He also drew attention to the council’s insistence on charging garbage collection fees while the streets were plagued by litter.
“People are being forced to pay sewage bills by the council, but no services have been done. The council is also making people pay garbage collection fees, but there is litter everywhere, not only in Mbare.”
Garwe, who is also the acting Local Government minister, did not mince words when he declared that the houses in Mbare were no longer suitable for habitation.
“We will destroy these houses and build new ones with proper and working sewer systems. This place has over 3,000 people, but they are using the same toilet. The pipes can no longer service such a populace,” said Garwe.
Nzenza, who accompanied Garwe on the visit, was equally shocked by the deplorable conditions in Mbare.
“Two days ago, I came to Mbare monitoring basic food commodities looking at how much prices have gone up. While on a monitoring survey, I came across this disaster (poor sanitation),” she lamented.
The lack of basic sanitation infrastructure poses a severe health risk to the residents, with the potential for the spread of diseases and infections.
The issue of sanitation is not isolated to Mbare alone but represents a broader problem that demands a comprehensive solution.