Residents at Burombo Flats in Nguboyenja have vowed to stay put despite government condemning the block of flats as unfit for human habitation.
The Minister of Health and Child Care, Doctor Obadiah Moyo recently toured the flats and expressed concern at the squalid conditions which he described as a health time bomb.
Some of the residents who spoke to CITE said despite water and ablution facilities in a deplorable state, they had nowhere else to go.
“We have no electricity and it makes it difficult for us to cook and iron,” said Elise Ndlovu.
She added that they have stopped using some of the toilets as they have become clogged.
“Our toilet facilities are not in good condition, we have locked some of them because they are blocked and smelling,” said Ndlovu.
Another resident Gladys Ncube said their living conditions are bad as one flat can have up to 11 people living in one room.
She said out of the 3 storey flat, there are four toilets on each floor which are shared by four families.
Ncube pointed out that the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has promised to renovate the flats.
“BCC visited us yesterday and they said they will make sure that they repair the drainage pipes and also provide maintenance to the flats,” said Ncube.
“There is a team of them already working, they are collecting rubbish around the flats and piling it in heaps.”
An elderly resident Themba Moyo said the residents will patiently wait for BCC to renovate the area as they understand it is not a day’s work.
“We know that there is not money and we understand, we are not sure how long it will take for the city council to fully renovate all the flats and we have no choice but to wait for them,” said Moyo.
BCC Public Relations Officer, Bongiwe Ngwenya said she is not at liberty to comment on the matter as it is a sensitive issue.
“l cannot comment on this issue because it is a sensitive matter, l would have to liase with my directors and hear what they have to say,” said Ngwenya.