Among the key protocols reported to be effective in the control of the spread of COVID-19 is frequent washing of hands with soap and under running water. Access to water among residents in Mutare, Zimbabwe, has been difficult in the midst of the pandemic. Prudence Sauriri, a female resident of the Mutare District in Zimbabwe, shares her perspective as a citizen reporter for On Our Radar’s ECID project based in Zimbabwe.
At a time when the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic became critical, residents of Mutare in Zimbabwe were asked to pay more for water. ‘Mutarians’ had to come to terms with a 500% increase in water rate across all 19 wards of the district. The residents described the hike as unprecedented and foul play. They accuse the authorities of only providing water two hours per day despite the high tariff.
In places like Dangamvura, water is available only around midnight and it lasts for just two hours. Places like Sakubva has seen water rationed throughout this coronavirus period. The residents say that they were surprised at the lack of consultation with communities about the increased tariff.
Councilor Clr Tsoro of ward 2 was unable to answer questions from residents on the hike in tariff. This is unfair especially during this time of COVID-19. They are therefore appealing for local authorities to revisit their decision and bring the water rates down.