PELANDABA West residents in Bulawayo have petitioned the court seeking an order to compel the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to connect water to their homes after going for three years without running water and a proper sewage reticulation system.
BY SILAS NKALA
The residents said without water, they had resorted to using the bush system, which they said was exposing community members to air and waterborne diseases.
The issue was highlighted by Nylon Gatsheni who filed a class action on behalf of other residents at the Bulawayo High Court citing Environment minister, BCC and Edmund Campion Takawira Shonhiwa trading as Pelandaba West Housing Project as respondents.
“The residents use nearby bushes as toilets. The lack of water and sewer connection is a recipe for disaster of serious proportions. This court will take judicial notice of the fact that this country, particularly Harare, was recently hit by a devastating cholera epidemic. In general, cholera is fatal and is caused by drinking contaminated water. Many innocent lives were lost. Unless the residents of Pelandaba West Housing Project are connected to water supply, a crisis will occur,” Gatsheni said.
In his founding affidavit, Gatsheni further said he had brought to the court a class action in terms of Class Action Act Chapter 8:17, adding his application was seeking to challenge the authorities’ failure to connect water to the residents of Pelandaba West.
Gatsheni further said his challenge was anchored on section 77 (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe as read with section 6 of the Water Act and section 183 of the Urban Councils Act .
“The application challenges the State’s failure to connect water to the residents of Pelandaba West, Bulawayo. I am a member of a class of persons that are aggrieved by the failure of the respondents (Environment minister, BCC and Edmund Campion Takawira Shonhiwa) to connect water to the residents…” he said.
“I am a registered owner of stand number 927 Pelandaba West, the property has neither water nor sewer connection. I occupied my property in 2015 and the majority of the affected residents took occupation of their respective properties approximately during that period. This is the challenge that is faced by approximately 200 stands owners who live with their families.”
Gatsheni also said over 800 people are resident in the suburb and the absence of water and sewer reticulation system was posing a serious health risk for them.
“I buy water from neighbouring townships at a cost $15 per month. All the stand owners and their families also buy water at approximately $15 per month,” he said.