Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) has called on the government together with the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to urgently trace the source of contamination in Luveve.
This follows reports that Luveve residents are battling with diarrhoea while five residents have died so far from drinking the allegedly contaminated water.
In a statement issued Monday, BPRA Communications Officer, Kelebone Khabo, said they are deeply concerned about the Bulawayo water crisis that continues to be neglected by the central government as well the council.
“It is however disappointing that the private consultant (engaged by the government) reached a conclusion that there was no crisis in Bulawayo without visiting residences to see how people of Bulawayo are now living in order to come up with a solid report,” he said.
BPRA previously wrote a letter to President Emmerson Mnangagwa urging him to declare the Bulawayo water situation a national disaster, a decision which the government brushed off.
Khabo noted that in its own research, BPRA believed there was potential of sanitary related water diseases, which unfortunately has claimed five lives in Luveve leaving others bedridden.
“On Sunday, June 14 2020 we visited more than 15 households in Luveve including the households that have recently lost their loved ones as reported in the newspapers. Residents were bedridden and are complaining of severe stomach pains. They are vomiting and are adamant that the cause may be contaminated water they receive from the local authority,” he said.
Khabo lamented that the worst affected were children under 16 years.
“Children between one and 16 years seem to be the most affected in the area, with a couple of adults also complaining of stomach pains. From the households we visited, they had either lost a loved one, while more than two people were bedridden at home, Mpilo Hospital or United Bulawayo Hospital,” he said.
“While Ward 15 has recorded more deaths, other Wards have not been spared. We have areas such as Iminyela that have sent in videos and picture evidence of sewer contaminated water coming out of their taps,” he said.
Meanwhile, Khabo said it was worrying that after attending to several reports, BCC blamed the contamination on residents’ containers.
“After attending to these several reports and witnessing the contaminated water it is distasteful for the local authority to release a statement that places the fault on the residents’ containers citing them as the reason why they are falling sick and suffering from diarrhea. BCC and the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate should urgently work together to address the issue of water supply and the contamination,” he urged.