THE WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION SITUATION IN REDCLIFF, ZIMBABWE: THE HUMAN RIGHT TO WATER AND SANITATION IN PERIL

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FINAL DRAFT REPORT

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THE WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION SITUATION IN REDCLIFF, ZIMBABWE: THE HUMAN RIGHT TO WATER AND SANITATION IN PERIL

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Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa

Desai House

N/Mandela Avenue

Second Floor

First Door

  1. O. Box 93

Kwekwe

Zimbabwe

Telephone:   +263717152535

e-mail:           actsouthernafrica@gmail.com

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Acknowledgements

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© 2014. Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa

Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa[1]

Desai House

N/Mandela Avenue

Second Floor

First Door

  1. O. Box 93

Kwekwe

Zimbabwe

Telephone:      +263717152535

e-mail:           actsouthernafrica@gmail.com

All rights reserved.

The report is a product of research conducted by the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa) through the Kwekwe/Redcliff Anti-Corruption and Service Delivery Monitoring Voluntary Action Group (KACSDM-VAG), which operates under the ‘Community Action against Corruption and Poor Service Delivery in Kwekwe/Redcliff Project’. The KACSDM-VAG monitors, reports and takes action against corruption and poor service delivery in Kwekwe, Redcliff, Silobela and Zhombe.

Pursuant to the above, ACT-Southern Africa would like to extend its appreciation to members of the KACSDM-VAG for their sterling role in campaigning against corruption, poor service delivery and collecting data that made the assessment possible. The KACSDM-VAG members include: Rev. Jackie Ngulube, Alfred. Y. Mnkandla, Tafadzwa Gambiza, Langton Mutevera, Tabita Karonga, Farayi Mauwa, Kefas Mzambezi, Morgen Chibayamombe, Jenett Sibanda, Fransisca Zvabvirepi, Dennis Chidamajaya, Kokerai Hilario Mapwanya, Dicosta Zimende, Ellah Mutengo, Arnold Phiri, Obert Chinhamo and Fraser Sibanda.

Furthermore, this report was made possible through the contributions of many individuals and institutions who volunteered their time and data to the research team. Last but not least, ACT-Southern Africa would like to thank Mr. Obert Chinhamo for analysing the data, compiling the report and leading the research team.

Executive Summary

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The research was undertaken as a response a public outcry against the water and sanitation crisis bedeviling the town of Redcliff and the widespread concern that the Municipality of Redcliff had ignored and/or neglected its residents’ human right to water and sanitation.

In pursuit thereof, the Kwekwe/Redcliff Anti-Corruption and Service Delivery Monitoring Voluntary Action Group (KACSDM-VAG), recommended an investigation into the extend to which the Municipality of Redcliff was fulfilling its mandate vis-à-vis the provision of regular, safe and affordable water to residents of Redcliff. Linked to the provision of water, is the question of sanitation which the investigating team incorporated as part of the scope of the research.

In keeping thereof, the members of the KACSDM-VAG and the researchers of the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa made consultations and made the following findings:

  • The water supply chain was too long and contributing to a plethora of challenges facing the Municipality of Redcliff such as the irregular supply of water, high price of water, and other inconveniences such as water disconnections;
  • The Municipality’s sewage treatment plants were not functioning and raw sewage destined for the Redcliff Treatment Plant had been diverted from the sewage treatment plant and directed towards Nhamo/Rutendo River thereby posing a great danger to animal and human lives;
  • The Municipality of Redcliff had failed and/or neglected to provide regular, accessible, safe and affordable water to its residents or was facing mounting challenges in the provision thereof considering that water supply was irregular at the time of reporting;
  • The Municipality of Redcliff was making the residents of Redcliff poorer by providing water much more expensively as compared to other local authorities such as the City of Kwekwe. In Kwekwe water was provided at twenty five cents (US$0.25) per cubic whilst in Redcliff, residents paid between seventy and eighty cents (US$70- US$0.80) per the same cubic measure. Also unaffordable were costs for water and sewage connections as well as the disconnections thereof;
  • Countless cases of water and sewage leakages were noted and some of these leakages had been neglected for many years and this lack of concern was perturbing. The most hard-hit areas included a section of Rutendo, affectionately known as ‘Magamba’, whose main inhabitants are war veterans;
  • Residents were suffering from water disconnections that were executed without court orders which brought in questions on the legality of such disconnections. The failure to pay for water was partly shouldered on the unaffordability of the water exacerbated by the poverty levels crippling the residents of Redcliff;
  • Refuse was not being collected in some suburbs such as Simbi Park. However, after the release of the draft report for comments, researchers witnessed refuse collection tractors on the 21st of August 2014 collecting refuse in Rutendo but not in Simbi Park;
  • Residents of low density suburbs have always been getting water as compared residents of high density suburbs which raised questions of discrimination between the poor and the rich in the provision of water;
  • Imposition of tariffs without consultation were also noted. This brought about resistance from residents who protested paying the tariffs accusing the local authority of lacking respect and infringing on the provisions of the Urban Councils Act;
  • Water and sewage reticulation plants and equipment were not fully utilized due to neglect, vandalization and lack of resources. The water purification plant owned by ZISCO Steel and drawing water from Cactus dam was not functioning, yet its use could have alleviated the water crisis facing the local authority. It has been alleged that water pumps that were used by ZISCO Steel had either broken down or were stolen;
  • The Municipality was also pocketing money for non-existent services such as public lighting in Simbi, Millennium and some parts of Rutendo. The residents cried foul over such practices;
  • Activities of Steel Makers Zimbabwe at a plant close to Simbi Park in Redcliff were labeled as a danger to human life due contaminants emitted during its process of steel making;
  • Suspicion of possible water theft was raised before the bulky water meter situated close to a cement manufacturing plant and Steel Makers in Redcliff.

Further to the above, residents raised serious concerns on the municipality’s lack of capacity in carrying out its duties and responsibilities in the most effective and efficient manner. Huge gaps in the provision of water and acceptable sanitation speaks volumes about the gaps thereof, which makes it urgent for corrective action to be taken. In support of the finding, in 2010, the Ministry of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development set up a fact finding mission to probe, alleged gross mismanagement of municipality affairs and corruption and the mission is said to have unearthed serious irregularities and made some recommendations. However, residents were not sure on whether or not the recommendations were implemented since there was no straight communication between the municipality and the residents. The lack of transparency in the implementation of the recommendations raised concerns among residents.

In keeping with the research findings, the following recommendations are made:

  • Recommendations to all Stakeholders
    • Relevant stakeholders should organize a meeting or workshop to openly dialogue on the water and sanitation situation in Redcliff in order bring about improved service delivery in the provision of water and sanitation. It is proposed that the Municipality of Redcliff, City of Kwekwe, ZINWA, ZISCO/NewZim Steel, Resident Associations, the District Administrator’s Office, Development Agencies, Donors, the Private Sector and other partners should meet and discuss on the way forward.

 

  • Recommendations to the Municipality of Redcliff;
    • Immediately attend to all cases of water and sewage leakages reported in Redcliff;
    • The Municipality should mobilize resources to set up its own water purification plant, which will save it from inconveniences caused by other parties in the water supply chain. Furthermore, it is envisaged that the Municipality will also be able to supply cheap water to its residents;
    • Procure water directly from ZINWA instead of passing through many stakeholders that include: the City of Kwekwe, and NewZim Steel;
    • Immediately reduce the price of water to residents of Redcliff and charge water at the rate at which residents of the City of Kwekwe are charged;
    • Avoid discriminating residents when it comes to the provision of water. This recommendation stems from the finding that the Municipality gives other residents water but denies others;
    • Stop water disconnections without following the due process of the law;
    • Strengthen its audit function to ensure that cases of fraud are detected and corrective action is timeously taken;
    • Remove the special levy of US$10 and refund all those who have paid it. The levy has exacerbated people’s suffering;
    • Repair the existing boreholes and if possible provide more boreholes in the affected areas;
    • Stop without any further delays the disposal of raw sewage into the Nhamo/Rutendo River since the disposal thereof, puts the lives of human and animals in jeopardy;
    • Improve on security since unscrupulous individuals responsible for the missing, vandalized and stolen equipment at the Sewage Treatment Plants took advantage of security lax.
  • Recommendations to the Environmental Management Authority
    • Investigate and take corrective action against the disposal of raw sewage into the Nhamo/Rutendo River since the illegal disposal thereof, is putting the lives of animals and human beings in great danger;
    • Investigate the case of emissions from the Steel Makers Simbi Park branch and take corrective action since the health of residents is in peril
  • Recommendations to ZISCO Steel and the NewZim Steel Management
    • Dialogue with the Municipality of Redcliff in order to find a lasting solution to the water crisis facing the town. It is recommended that discussions with the Municipality of Redcliff should explore possibilities towards handing over the management of water to the municipality including the pipeline and the pump station among other equipments;
    • Rehabilitate the Cactus Water Purification Plant or Hand it over to the Municipality of Redcliff to enable it to rehabilitate it and supplement the existing water supply

 

  • Recommendations to the Ministry of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development
    • Intervene into the water crisis facing Redcliff;
    • Legislative reviews may be needed to ensure that water is made available cheaply to the people;
    • Provide resources or link the Municipality of Redcliff to other stakeholders to ensure that it can set up its own water purification plant;
    • Pronounce itself on the legality of water disconnections that are rampant in Redcliff; and
    • Ensure the implementation of recommendations of a fact finding mission that was set up in 2010
  • Recommendations to the City of Kwekwe
    • Take over the responsibility for distribution of water until the current crisis is resolved; or engage the Municipality of Redcliff to ensure that water is supplied to residents of Redcliff at the same rate at which the City of Kwekwe supplies its residents.
  • Recommendations to the Zimbabwe National Water Supply Authority (ZINWA)
    • ZINWA should consider supplying water directly to the Municipality of Redcliff in order to avoid many stakeholders who are part of the existing water supply chain which has made water supply too costly. This should be considered after the Municipality of Redcliff has set up its own water purification plant;
    • Provide water for a small amount of money, since its sells raw water and does not incur any cost.

8     Recommendations to Steel Makers Zimbabwe in Redcliff

  • Immediately stop all forms of pollution endangering the lives of residents of Simbi Park and Rutendo suburbs
  • Recommendations to the Parliament of Zimbabwe
    • The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee responsible for Water and Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Local Government should commission a fact finding mission to Redcliff and find out the root causes for unavailability and un-affordability of water;
    • The problem of water and in some cases the mismanagement of water by local governments is rampant, and water cuts among other actions are widespread, yet the availability of water, not just water but ‘safe water’ is a fundamental human rights issue. This calls for a radical reflection on the issue as well as how national laws and policies can be reformed to ensure that clean water is supplied at an affordable price as well as dealing with the issue pertaining to the legality of water disconnections
  • Recommendations to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation
    • Conduct a country mission to investigate the enjoyment of the rights to water and sanitation in Redcliff and other parts of Zimbabwe;
    • Advise the government or the Municipality of Redcliff on specific measures required for the realization of the rights to water and sanitation.
  • Recommendations to Residents of Redcliff (Low and High Density Suburbs)
    • Set up a Residents and Ratepayers Association to confront the Municipality of Redcliff vis-à-vis the water crisis among other service delivery challenges;
    • Monitor the quality of service delivery and inform the Municipality of Redcliff through Ward Councillors, residents association or directly to the management.
  • Recommendations to Development Partners
    • Partner with the Municipality of Redcliff in addressing the water and sanitation gaps identified in the report;
    • Development partners who previously supported some projects that remain incomplete should discuss with the Municipality of Redcliff on how such projects could be completed;
  • Recommendations to Zimbabweans in the Diaspora
    • Identify possible donors and link them to the Municipality of Redcliff or any other party that they feel comfortable working with;
  • Recommendations to the Private Sector
    • As part of the sector’s corporate social responsibility, it should contribute towards the alleviation of water challenges bedeviling Redcliff;
    • Donate boreholes to the residents of Redcliff.

Table of Contents

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Acknowledgements. 2

Executive Summary. 3

List of Acronyms. 10

List of Tables. 11

List of Figures. 12

Municipality of Redcliff Profile. 13

1       Background Information. 14

2       Research Methodology. 14

3       Findings and Discussions. 15

3.1        Water Governance: Long Water Supply Chain. 15

3.2        Broken Down Water and Sewage Treatment Plants and Equipment. 18

3.3        Irregular Supply of Water. 19

3.4        Rampant Water Disconnections. 20

3.5        Unaffordable Water in Redclidd: High Water Charges. 20

3.6        Forgotten Water Leakages. 21

3.7        Neglected Sewage Leakages. 22

3.8        Ignored Refuse Collection. 24

3.9        Unethical Disposal of Raw Sewage into the Nhamo/Rutendo River. 25

3.10     Possible Illegal Water Connections. 25

3.11     Contamination of water by Steel Makers close to Simbi Park, Redcliff. 25

3.12     Discrimination in the Provision of Basic Services. 25

3.13     Undemocratic Imposition of Charges. 26

3.14     Charges for Non-Existent Services. 26

3.15     Security Lax at Sewage Treatment Plants and Other Important Places. 26

3.16     Mismanagement of Municipality Affairs and Corruption. 27

4       Resource Mobilisation Gaps and Proposed Strategies for Improved Service in the Water and Sanitation Sector in Redcliff. 29

4.1        Resources Mobilisation Gaps. 29

4.2        Proposed Resource Mobilisation Strategies. 30

5       Conclusion and Recommendations. 31

5.1        Recommendations to all Stakeholders. 31

5.2        Recommendations to the Ministry of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development  31

5.3        Recommendations to the Municipality of Redcliff;. 31

5.4        Recommendations to the Environmental Management Authority. 32

5.5        Recommendations to ZISCO Steel and the NewZim Steel Management. 32

5.6        Recommendations to Steel Makers Zimbabwe in Redcliff. 32

5.7        Recommendations to the City of Kwekwe. 32

5.8        Recommendations to the Zimbabwe National Water Supply Authority (ZINWA). 32

5.9        Recommendations to the Parliament of Zimbabwe. 33

5.10     Recommendations to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation. 33

5.11     Recommendations to Residents of Redcliff (Low and High Density Suburbs). 33

5.12     Recommendations to Development Partners. 33

5.13     Recommendations to Zimbabweans in the Diaspora. 33

5.14     Recommendations to the Private Sector. 33

Annexes. 34

®     Terms of Reference- Assessment of Service Delivery in the Water and Sanitation Sector in Redcliff  34

®     List of Institutions Consulted. 36

Endnotes. 37

 

List of Acronyms

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ACT-Southern Africa            Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa

EMA                                 Environmental Management Authority

KACSDM-VAG                    Kwekwe/Redcliff Anti-Corruption and Service Delivery Monitoring Voluntary Action Group

MDC-T                             Movement for Democratic Change- Tsvangirai

ZANU PF                           Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front

ZINWA                                       Zimbabwe National Water Authority

ZISCO                              Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company

 

List of Tables

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Table 1: Leadership of the Municipality of Redcliff. 13

Table 2: Testimony on Irregular Supply of Water from a Resident of Simbi Park. 19

Table 3: Question from Residents: Legality of Water Disconnections. 20

Table 4: Cost for Water and Related Services. 21

Table 5: Redcliff man threatens suicide over a sewer. 24

Table 6: Remarks against Discrimination from a Resident. 26

Table 7: Demands from the Residents. 26

 

List of Figures

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Figure 1: Water Supply Chain to Redcliff. 16

Figure 2: The Recommended Water Supply Chain to Redcliff. 17

Figure 3: Broken Down Borehole in Rutendo.. 19

Figure 4: Digging of Water Wells in Rutendo, Redcliff. 20

Figure 5: Costs of Increases as the Water Supply Chain Moves from ZINWA to Redcliff. 21

Figure 6: Sewage Leakages in Simbi Park, Redcliff. 22

Figure 7: Raw Faeces at Houses in Simbi Park, Redcliff. 23

Figure 8: Simbi Park Sewage Leakages. 23

 

Municipality of Redcliff Profile

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Redcliff is a municipal town situated in the Midlands Province in Zimbabwe.[i] The majority of the residents are either employees or former employees of the former Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO), formerly RISCO founded in 1942 and now NewZim Steel, a subsidiary of Essar Holdings (Pvt) Limited. The town sits in an exceptionally iron-rich area and has relied on steel production as a source of revenue since it was founded in 1942.[ii]

The town is an extension of the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and is governed by elected non-executive Councillors, and chaired by a Mayor. The Municipality is administratively run by a Town Clerk, who is its Chief Executive Officer. Table 1 below shows the leadership of the municipality at the time of reporting.

1 Full Name Municipality of Redcliff
2 Name of Mayor Hon. Kapuya
3 Name of Town Clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza
4 Names of Councillors a)    Hon. Masiyiwa (Deputy Mayor)- Male

b)   Hon. Kapuya (Male)

c)    Hon. Masiyatsva (Male)

d)    Hon. Foroma (Male)

e)    Hon. Muchuweni (Male)

f)     Hon. Borewe (Male)

The following were allegedly dismissed by their political party (MDC-T) because of alleged corruption:

a)    Hon. Chikwiri (Male);

b)   Hon. Dhuro (Female);

c)    Hon. Majaji (Male)

5 Contact Details Municipality of Redcliff

Civic Centre

P. O. Box 100

Redcliff

Tel:+2635568787

Fax:+2635568787

 

1    Background Information

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The water and sanitation crisis crippling the town of Redcliff was raised at a meeting of the members of the Kwekwe/Redcliff Anti-Corruption and Service Delivery Monitoring Voluntary Action Group (KACSDM-VAG) on the 19th of July 2014.[2]

The KACSDM-VAG members hailing from Redcliff raised serious concerns on how residents’ human rights to water and sanitation continued to be violated and the situation believed to have been worsening. Compounding people’s fears was the seemingly lack of innovative ideas from the Municipality of Redcliff on how to contain the problems. The irregular supply of water, rampant water and sewage leakages, disposal of raw sewage into the river, water contamination and exorbitant price of water were cited among other challenges bedeviling the town of Redcliff and there were no signs of improvements.

The said meeting concurred that the denial of affordable water for consumption and other uses is tantamount to a serious violation of the human rights of the residents of Redcliff. The critical importance of water was reinforced by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation (2013) who insists that water should not only be made available and accessible but should be safe for consumption and also that it should be affordable.[3]

The said concerned members of the KACSDM-VAG felt that the irregular supply of water is a human-made problem shouldered to institutions that are part of the water supply chain, which include but not limited to the Zimbabwe National Water Supply Authority (ZINWA), the City of Kwekwe, ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel and the Municipality of Redcliff. Consequently, this prompted an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa), through the said KACSDM-VAG and hence this report.

2    Research Methodology

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In order to gather data for the assessment, interviews were conducted with residents as well as consultations with relevant key institutions and other individual respondents. Furthermore, secondary sources of data were reviewed. The research team also visited different parts of Redcliff in order to witness the water and sewage leakages, the leaking valves, broken down boreholes, the disposal of raw sewage in the river, and vandalized sewage treatment plants, among others areas.

The first draft report was circulated to the Municipality of Redcliff, ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel, the City of Kwekwe and the ZINWA calling upon them to give comments. All the four key stakeholders gave inputs after receipt of the Draft Report.

  • The City of Kwekwe received the draft report on the 5th of August 2014 and feedback was received through a meeting between the research team and the Town Clerk on the 7th of August 2014;
  • The Managing Director’s Office of ZISCO received the draft report on the 6th of August 2014 and responded through an e-mail on the 7th of August 2014 stating that they had “… made some very good observations and recommendations… but can not comment or commit ourselves in the absence of NewZim Steel management. We shall however , pass on your report to NewZim Steel management once it is in place”;
  • ZINWA Kwekwe Office received the report on the 5th of August 2014, gave some comments and advised the research team on the 15th of August 2014 to forward the same draft report to the Gweru office for more comments; and
  • The Municipality of Redcliff received the draft report on the 5th of August 2014 and gave its comments through the Town Clerk on the 28th of August 2014.

The draft report was also peer reviewed and subjected to further scrutiny which added new insights and hence some minor differences between the first draft report and the final one.  In view of the afore-going, the research process was consultative and portrays a true picture of the water and sanitation situation in Redcliff.

3    Findings and Discussions

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Consultations made and literature review confirmed the existence of huge gaps in the provision of regular, safe and affordable water to residents of Redcliff and other stakeholders. The residents are facing the water and sanitation crisis for more than a decade and the challenges are worsening. The residents of Redcliff appeared to have been frustrated by the conduct of the Municipality of Redcliff in the provision of regular, safe and affordable water. The most disappointing comments came from a resident who regretted having bought a house in Simbi Park, Redcliff saying that life was extremely expensive and that the leadership did not seem to have been caring about the plight of the people. It has been highlighted that the continuation of the problem speaks volumes about the leadership’s lack of capacity to innovate and eliminate the challenges. The following specific findings were made:

3.1        Water Governance: Long Water Supply Chain

The Municipality of Redcliff buys water from ZISCO Steel / NewZim Steel[4] since it has no water treatment plant of its own. The ZISCO Steel / NewZim Steel buys water from the City of Kwekwe and sells it to the Municipality of Redcliff at a profit.

The City of Kwekwe buys raw water from the Zimbabwe National Water Supply Authority (ZINWA) and purifies it before distributing it to its residents and other stakeholders such as ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel.  Figure 1 below portrays the movement of water from ZINWA until it gets to the residents of Redcliff.

Water Supply Chain

However, before 2010 water consumed in Redcliff was supplied by ZINWA and ZISCO Steel had given ZINWA authority over the pipelines from Dutchman Pools and pump station situated within the ZISCO premises. However, after 2010, ZISCO Steel regained control of the water infrastructure when other stakeholders thought that it was going to hand over the same to the Municipality of Redcliff.[5] In keeping thereof, ZISCO Steel and/or NewZim Steel remains as the water authority for Redcliff and the Municipality of Redcliff is rated as a third party, regardless of having direct access to the residents of Redcliff and other consumers of water.[6]

Another challenge to the residents of Redcliff is the fact that the City of Kwekwe supplies ZISCO Steel /NewZim Steel with industrial water which is perceived to be more expensive as compared to water for domestic use. However, it is believed that the water supplied to ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel by the City of Kwekwe is not meant for industrial use but is supplied to the residents of Redcliff and the said ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel pumps water for industrial purposes from the near-by dam.[7] Consequently, residents decried on why the City of Kwekwe continued to supply expensive industrial water, which is allegedly not required since ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel pumps water for industrial purposes from local dams.

Analysis of the water supply chain reveals a plethora of challenges. Innocent parties suffer because of problems caused by other parties. In 2012, ZINWA reportedly threatened to shut down the City of Kwekwe’s main water source owing to unpaid bills amounting to about US$1 million dollars.[iii] Shutting down the main water source would have caused a lot of suffering to other parties such as ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel, the Municipality of Redcliff and the residents of Redcliff.  Furthermore, the Chronicle (2012) reported that in December 2012, NewZim Steel owed City of Kwekwe, close to US$9 million in unpaid water bills.[iv] The non-payment of water bills has often been resulting in water disconnections that affected and will continue to affect innocent parties.

In light of the above, the following observations are made:

  1. Any decision by ZINWA to disconnect the City of Kwekwe, will cause tremendous harm to the City of Kwekwe residents, ZISCO/NewZim Steel and residents of the Municipality of Redcliff;
  2. The chain is too long and is umbilically linked in such a way that the link disadvantages innocent parties. The failure by the City of Kwekwe, to settle debts owed to ZINWA will result in disconnections which will affect the rest of the chain;
  3. As water moves from source to consumers, the price increases, which means that a consumer in Redcliff consumes water more expensively as compared to a consumer in Kwekwe. In Redcliff, consumers buy water at US$0.80 per cubic whilst in Kwekwe they buy it for as little as US$0.25 per cubic. The huge gap demonstrates the extent to which the residents of Redcliff suffer at the hands of ZISCO/NewZim Steel and the Municipality of Redcliff. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the City of Kwekwe is selling industrial water to ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel.

In view of the above, the Municipality of Redcliff is encouraged to set up its own Water Purification Plant in Redcliff which will make it easy for the Municipality to regularly supply water to its residents at an affordable price.[8] Many options are also available such as allowing the City of Kwekwe to supply water directly to residents of Redcliff pending innovation towards a permanent solution to the water crisis.

Further to the above, the rehabilitation of the ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel Cactus mini Water Purification Plant will help to alleviate the water and sanitation crisis.[9] Furthermore, ZISCO Steel/New Zim Steel was urged by residents to hand over the water infrastructure to the Municipality of Redcliff and that the City of Kwekwe downgrades the water which it is supplying from ‘industrial’ to ‘domestic’ since that will help to reduce the price of water.[10]

The ideal chain overwhelmingly recommended by some institutions that are part of the water supply chain and residents is as shown in Figure 2 below. If implemented, the proposed water supply chain will save the Municipality from the afore-highlighted inconveniences and also that it will be able to supply affordable water to the residents.

The Recommended Water Supply Chain

3.2        Broken Down Water and Sewage Treatment Plants and Equipment

On the 21st of August 2014, the research team picked a long list of plants and equipment that had either broken down or were not being put good use. In some unimaginable cases, some structures had been vandalised and expensive equipment missing. Some of the plants and equipment include:

  • A water reservoir situated between Rutendo and Redcliff town, allegedly sponsored by USAID was incomplete and as a result there was no reliable water reservoir that serviced Rutendo, Millennium and Simbi Park among other areas. The research team learnt that money for the completion thereof was depleted and efforts were being made to mobilise additional resources;[11]
  • A new modernised sewage treatment plant that was under construction close to the police residential quarters had been vandalised and had dilapidated due to neglect and security lax. Most of the key equipment was missing and huge investments made were put to worst. The Municipality of Redcliff will require huge sums of money to complete the project;[12]
  • The Redcliff Sewage Treatment Plant was not functioning and all the pumps had broken down and had been in that state for a long period of time. As a result, the research team witnessed raw sewage being disposed directly to the Nhamo/Rutendo river which empts its water into the Kwekwe river;
  • Similar to the Redcliff treatment plant, the Rutendo plant was partially working and most the equipment was not working due to neglect or lack of maintenance. The plant was also empting sewage to the said Nhamo/Rutendo river;
  • Leaking valves were many. One of the valves was located at the bulky water meter close to a cement processing plant. The second leaking valve was located between a cement factory plant and Steel makers situated close to the bulky water meter;
  • The ZISCO water purification plant was not working due to missing pumps. ZISCO owns a mini water purification plant, fed by water from the Cactus dam. Respondents interviewed encouraged that if rehabilitated the plant will adequately supply water to Redcliff low density suburb;[13]
  • Water pump situated close to the Rutendo Secondary School’s sports ground was also vandalized due to security lax and at the time of reporting it was not functioning.;[14]
  • A broken down borehole was spotted close to ‘Zvigayo’ shops in Rutendo. It was drilled through the sponsorship of a local businessman. It is alleged that the broken down borehole has been incessantly sabotaged.[15] Interviews carried out also confirmed that there are similar boreholes in Torwood, where water is erratic. Donations were mobilized by a resident of Torwood who is in the Diaspora. Consultations made confirmed that the boreholes in Rutendo suburb were allegedly handed over to the Municipality of Redcliff, whilst the research failed to confirm the status of the Torwood boreholes. Vandalisation of the Rutendo boreholes is allegedly due to security lax. Figure 3 below shows a picture of one of the boreholes referred to;
 The borehole was donated by a local businessman as a gesture towards alleviating the water crisis.

3.3        Irregular Supply of Water

The research confirmed that the Municipality of Redcliff was failing and/or had neglected to regularly supply water to its residents. The residents of Millennium, Rutendo, Simbi Park and Torwood suburbs were the most affected and these residents complained of an endless quagmire of irregular supply of water. In some cases, residents had not received water for months which made life extremely difficult for them. The extract below captures the real situation on the ground in Redcliff and how the leadership was frustrating its residents, particularly women and children who are the most affected.

“I have never seen water coming out of my tap for the past 12 months. This municipality has no people at heart at all. They do not care at all that water is life and without water we will all die. When they give us water they do so during odd hours when people are sleeping and in most cases water does not last for more than one hour and the water will not have pressure at all. When I learnt that xxxxxxxxx {name withheld}, who is a woman, was promoted to the post of Town Clerk, I was happy since I knew that as a woman, she understands the importance of water to fellow women but the situation became worse and continues to worsen. In my case I need water for cooking, bathing my kids, and for the toilet. I had no choice but to forgo my garden, which has made my life difficult since I am now buying vegetables every day. This municipality and all those responsible for water shortages are evil”

Source: Interview with a resident of Simbi Park on 22 July 2014

Some residents of Redcliff had resorted to digging their own wells within their yards. This alternative source of water had significantly helped the people who otherwise would have seriously suffered. Figure 4, below shows one of the wells at a house in Rutendo.

The owner of the well said that everyday from around 4:00 am other residents knock at her gate fetching water. At least thirty (30) water thirsty residents fetch water at the well every day and this highlights the seriousness of the water crisis facing residents of Redcliff.

3.4        Rampant Water Disconnections

Adding salt to injury are some practices of the Municipality of Redcliff in which they disconnect water without notice and court orders. The residents queried the legality of water disconnections considering that the availability and accessibility to safe and affordable water is a human right. One of the interviewees appreciated the order given by the Minister of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development, Dr. Ignatius Chombo in 2012 when he ordered the City of Kwekwe to re-connect water it had disconnected against ZISCO/NewZim Steel for almost a month over a debt of over US$8 million.  The City of Kwekwe was accused of violating the rights of residents of the Municipality of Redcliff.[v]

The residents want to know on whether it is legal or illegal for local and water authorities such as the Municipality of Redcliff and ZINWA to disconnect water without following the due process of the law.

3.5        Unaffordable Water in Redclidd: High Water Charges

Another challenge pertaining to the water supply was the cost thereof since the Municipality of Redcliff was selling water to residents expensively as compared to residents of Kwekwe. The table below shows the rates charged by both the Municipality of Redcliff and the City of Kwekwe.

Ref

 

Description

 

Amount Charged in US$
Municipality of Redcliff City of Kwekwe
1 Charge per cubic to residents 0.80 0.25
2 Water re-connection after disconnection 15 5

The table above clearly shows how the Municipality of Redcliff was overcharging its residents regardless of knowing the extent to which they are suffering. It also shows how residents of Redcliff could be subsiding the residents of Kwekwe.[16]  It would be in the best interest of the residents for all stakeholders to table this issue for discussions in order to reduce the price of water charged in Redcliff.

The price of water increases as more parties join the Water Supply Chain

As depicted in the Figure above, the price of water increases as more parties are involved and the most hard-hit are the residents of Redcliff who buy it at 80 cents per cubic. Also making price expensive is that the City of Kwekwe sells industrial water to ZISCO/NewZim Steel and it is well known that industrial water is more expensive as compared to water for domestic use.

3.6        Forgotten Water Leakages

Regardless of the claim that water is scarce and that it should be saved, the investigations picked numerous points at which water leakages were not attended to for many years, resulting in huge loses. The following areas were reported:

  1. Chitoto Hostels: Water is lost daily due to tap leakages. This has been taking place for years and appears to have been neglected and/or forgotten;
  2. Corner Sally Mugabe way and Masasa Drive: The leakage has been taking place for years and the Municipality of Redcliff has not taken any action regardless of knowing the problem:
  3. Old Steel Road near Steel Makers Company: Water leakages were also observed and have not been attended to for many years;
  4. 14 Senanwe Road, Rutendo: Employees of the Municipality of Redcliff broke a tap and left water oozing out for almost 12 months.

It is important to acknowledge that not all leakages have been covered in this report but the few examples demonstrate the status quo in Redcliff. On the 28th of August 2014, the Municipality of Redcliff pledged that it was going to attend to all leakages.[18] However, residents were urged to report all leakages to the Municipality.[19]

3.7        Neglected Sewage Leakages

Sewage leakages are rampant in Rutendo and Simbi Park and these appear to have been forgotten. The following points have been observed:

  1. Magamba in Rutendo: In an area affectionately known by the people as ‘Magamba’ and resided by soldiers, former soldiers and war veterans among others, sewage leakages have been rampant for many years and these have been neglected and/or ignored by the Municipality of Redcliff. The leakages are still ongoing and it is not clear on how many people have fallen sick or died as a result of the filth environment created by sewage leakages. At a meeting held with the Municipality of Redcliff on the 28th day of August 2014, it was learnt that the sewage mess is due to poor sewage infrastructure design, which the local authority promised to rectify at its earliest convenience;
  2. Bakorenhema Road in Rutendo: Along Bakorenhema Road, there has been a leakage for years and the problem has never been attended to.
  3. Rutendo Stadium: The leakage at Rutendo Stadium has not been attended to by the municipality and the area is a blot on the landscape and makes the stadium a public hazard;
  4. Main Sewage Pipe from Simbi Park: The main sewage pipe from Simbi has been incessantly leaking at a place between the bridge and police quarters. The leakage feeds into Nhamo/Rutendo river;
  5. Simbi Park: In Simbi Park sewage leakages are also rampant and the pictures below depict the situation on the ground, which is an eyesore to the public and a health hazard as well;
Raw sewage has been flowing endlessly and affecting many houses including House Number 4855, Simbi Park, Redcliff.
The lives of many children are in peril because of the Municipality of Redcliff’s poor service delivery

The pictures below were taken at House Numbers 4851, 4855 and 3990 Simbi Park, Redcliff at which raw sewage was flowing endlessly.

The sewage leakages in Simbi Park were reported to the Municipality in April 2014 but the problem has been ignored.

The situation is so dire that in some cases victims contemplate suicide as typified through an extract from the Guiding Star reported by Sithole (2014:8).

Redcliff main threatens suicide over a sewer

Talent Sithole

A Rutendo man Muzadzi has threatened to kill himself over persistent sewer problem that has been flowing at his house for the past 8 years. Muzadzi said people will one day find his body hanging at the District Administrator’s office if the problem is not arrested.

He says sewer has been flowing continuously past his house for the past eight years. Muzadzi said he reported this matter to the Redcliff Municipality on numerous occasions to no avail. He added that he also approached Zimrights in his bid to help the situation.

Muzadzi who is a war veteran said he has suffered enough adding that Redcliff Mayor and the Municipal Authority is guilt of human rights abuse. “The Redcliff Mayor should be charged for wanting to kill me and my family. For the past eight years incessant sewer has been flowing and has formed a pool right round the house. I now stay in an island.”

“It seems nobody at the Local Authority is willing to find a solution to the problem. Kapuya (mayor) said we have to die because we are not paying council rates” he said. Muzadzi said the government should look into the citing that he has been reduced to pigsty. “The government should redress this situation why should we be made to suffer and live like pigs” he said. Redcliff Municipality Mayor Freddy Kapuya said the council is working on the issue adding the problem is widespread.

“I helped to solve this problem not because I was threatened but that is my duty. It is also the main reason for me being in office to see that all residents get what they deserve”. “This issue of sewer is not affecting an individual but Redcliff as a whole therefore we are working with the engineering department to take action” he said. Experts say the sewer system needs to be upgraded arguing that the continued growth of population can not be contained by old system that is now dilapidated.

Source: Sithole, T (2014). Redcliff main threatens suicide over a sewer: The Guiding Star: 18 July 2014

The Redcliff Municipality agreed that the leakages will be attended to. However, in Rutendo, particularly in an area known as ‘Magamba’, the municipality will require approximately US$300,000 since the problem is linked to the sewage infrastructural design. The municipality will be required to re-design the sewage infrastructure since the population has increased and that the old infrastructure can not meet the needs of the current population. [20]

3.8        Ignored Refuse Collection

The Municipality of Redcliff had neglected collecting refuse from some high density suburbs. In areas visited such as Simbi Park and Rutendo, residents had resorted to burning garbage whilst others loaded it in their vehicles during the night and threw it away in near-by bushes. If the non-collection of refuse by the municipality as well as the disposal in near-by bushes continues, the environment will be polluted. It was recommended that the Municipality of Redcliff commences refuse collection services without any further delays. One of the key respondents recommended that residents should use the refuse or litter to make composites and as well as making biogas. However, this would require experts to give technical support to the residents. Furthermore, the municipality’s refuse trucks broke down and were using a truck meant for road construction as well as a tractor[21].

3.9        Unethical Disposal of Raw Sewage into the Nhamo/Rutendo River

A visit to the Redcliff and Rutendo Sewage Treatment Plants on the 20th of August 2014 made shocking revelations of the disposal of raw sewage to the river. The Redcliff plant had entirely broken down and all the pumps were not working. This has been the situation for almost a year and raw sewage was being disposed to the Nhamo/Rutendo River which feeds into Kwekwe River. Water flowing along Nhamo/Rutendo River was contaminated which threatens human and animal life along the said river and Kwekwe river among other rivers which receives the contaminated water. Whilst the Municipality of Redcliff could be facing financial constraints, it is unacceptable for them to put the lives of people and animals into jeopardy.

3.10     Possible Illegal Water Connections

A meeting with the residents hinted at possible cases of water theft through illegal water connections after and before the bulky water meter.[22] The investigating team was informed of some companies and plots located before the bulky water meter, situated close to Steel Makers and a Cement manufacturing company in Rutendo who were using water and what could not be established was whether or not they were paying for the water they were consuming. Whilst illegal water connections could not be established, it would be prudent for the municipality to remain vigilant and guard against such practices.  In fact, the Midlands Observer[23] carried a story alleging illegal water connections before the bulky water meter, which may warrant further investigations.

3.11     Contamination of water by Steel Makers close to Simbi Park, Redcliff

Simbi Park residents residing alongside or close to Steel Makers complained of water contamination from emissions emanating from the Steel Makers plant. On the 14th of June 2014, ten (10) residents of Simbi Park signed a petition that was submitted to the Managing Director of Steel Makers but at the time of reporting no feedback had been received. The petition was copied to the Municipality of Redcliff, Redcliff Police Station, Environment Management Authority (EMA) and the local Councillor. A resident interviewed indicated that the plant was manufacturing steel which opposed its original purpose of being a distribution point. The company manufactures steel and the equipment used cause noise pollution, air pollution and water pollution thereby raising concerns on why and how it was given a licence to operate close to residential areas. [24]

3.12     Discrimination in the Provision of Basic Services

The residents of Simbi Park and Rutendo complained that the Municipality of Redcliff was discriminating against them based on their economic and social status. It was alleged that suburbs inhabited by the rich enjoyed regular water supply and excellent sanitation levels as compared to high density suburbs where the poor people stay.  The provision of basic services was differentiated between the rich and the poor.

Suburbs inhabited by the poor suffer from:

  • Rampant and ignored sewage leakages;
  • Neglected water leakages;
  • Neglected garbage;
  • Poor roads, not being repaired and in some suburbs the roads were never graveled;
  • Absence of street lights

The residents felt that the Municipality was punishing them for being poor.  The table below captures a statement made by one of the residents who was showing frustration at being discriminated against by the Municipality of Redcliff.

Vanogara kumadhewu-dhewu havana dambudziko remvura nekuti vane mari. Vanoiwana nguva nenguva. Varombo tine nhamo tinogara tichitambudzwa. Takafanana nevanhu vanogara kumusha. Isu vakadzi tisu tanyanyisa kutambura nokuti tinotsvaka mvura yacho kuti tibike chikafu uye kugeza hembe (People who stay in low density suburbs are not facing water problems because they have money. They get water all the time. The poor are always punished for being poor. We are staying in conditions similar or worse as compared to people staying in villages. Women are the ones who are suffering more since they have the burden of fetching water for cooking, and washing)

3.13     Undemocratic Imposition of Charges

In June 2014, residents were shocked when they received water bills reflecting an additional US$10 charge, said to be a ‘special levy’. However, the residents alleged that they were not consulted and hence the protests and refusal to pay the same. The residents suspected that the municipality did not adhere to legal requirements, including that of consulting the residents and notifying them in three newspapers in line with the Urban Councils Act. The table below shows demands from the residents on the same issue.

The residents demanded that the Municipality of Redcliff should prove that it adhered to the legal requirements or else the special tariff should be reversed and that all residents who paid should be refunded.

3.14     Charges for Non-Existent Services

Further to alleged undemocratic imposition of tariffs, the residents of Simbi Park in Redcliff complained against charges made for non-existent services. For instance, the Municipality of Redcliff was charging for public lighting yet there were no street lights in Simbi Park.[25]  Residents felt cheated and wanted to know on whether it is ethical for local authorities to receive money for services not being rendered. There were no street lights in Simbi Park, yet the municipality was pocketing money for public lighting every month.

In light of the above, the Municipality of Redcliff should be honest and reap revenue that it deserves. A decision should be made on whether or not to continue charging since the residents of Simbi Park and other suburbs without public lighting feel cheated.

3.15     Security Lax at Sewage Treatment Plants and Other Important Places

The new sewage treatment plant close to the police residential quarters in Redcliff was vandalised and expensive equipment stolen due to security lax, yet the municipality has a municipal police section responsible for security matters. The huge loss suffered could have been prevented if the plant had been adequately guarded. Repairs to the plant and completing the construction of the plant in order to make it functional requires at least US$2 million.[26] Furthermore, the research team observed that one of the water pumps located close to Rutendo had been vandalised and some of its key components may have been stolen due to security gaps. In this case study, security caused huge losses and a waste of funds.  Furthermore, the research team visited the ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel plant at Cactus Dam wall on the 21st of August 2014 and discovered that there was no one at the plant and the buildings and equipped appeared to have been neglected and were in a state of dilapidation. To this end, the Municipality of Redcliff and ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel are urged to improve security at water reservoirs, pipelines and treatment plants. There is a risk that the lives of water consumers will endangered in the event of water contamination. The research team failed to establish on whether or not water reservoirs were guarded since any security lax will endanger people’s lives.

3.16     Mismanagement of Municipality Affairs and Corruption

It is of pivotal importance to note that the ability to overcome the water crisis or any other challenge is dependent on the effective and efficient management of the municipality’s affairs, which itself is dependent on the capacity of the councilors as well as the staff of the municipality in carrying out their duties in the most effective and efficient manner. It then follows that mismanagement and lack of capacity will undoubtedly result in poor service delivery which tremendously affects the well-being of the people. Consultations made and the review of relevant literature, made the following findings:

3.16.1                Integrity of the Council

The research made an effort to understand the underlying reasons why three (3) councilors: Hon. Chikwiri, Hon. Dhuro, and Hon. Majaji were suspended by their political party. It was alleged that the three Councillors were bribed to vote for the Mayor of the Municipality of Redcliff. The full Council comprised two (2) ZANU PF and seven (MDC-T) candidates. The MDC-T Councillors constituted the majority and by virtue of their numbers they would have voted for an MDC-T Councillor to be a Mayor. When a ZANU PF Councillor won the Mayoral seat, suspicion was raised which prompted an investigation, whose findings recommended expulsion from the party due to corruption.  However, Hon. Dhuro took the matter to court and at the time of reporting court processes had not been concluded. This incident of alleged corruption tarnishes the image and standing of the Council in the eyes of the public.

3.16.2                Flouting Procedures When Passing Resolutions

The case in which the Municipality of Redcliff is alleged to have imposed the special levy of US$10, speaks volumes on the failure of the council to adhere to set procedures in passing its resolutions. Interviews with some residents who attended meetings being used as a justification for consultation flatly denied having approved the special levy and have challenged the municipality to provide evidence of their approval.

Furthermore, consultations with residents revealed that all was not well at the Municipality of Redcliff since some councilors distanced themselves from the decision to impose the said monthly US$10 special levy.[27] However, it was pointed out by one of the residents that all the councilors approved the special levy but were deceiving the residents into believing that they were not part of the decision-making process. This case raised concerns since some councilors were not transparent enough and refused to be held accountable.

3.16.3                Lack of Accountability, Transparency and Integrity

The residents alleged that the municipality neglected and/or refused to fully implement the 2010 recommendations of an investigations made by a team of investigators set up by the Ministry of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development (MLGURD). In 2010, the Minister of MLGURD set up a team[28] to probe, alleged gross mismanagement of municipality affairs and corruption.[vi]The team picked numerous acts of mismanagement and drew a list of recommendations that were not fully implemented. As an example, residents claim that some of the individuals implicated in the staff loan scam had not yet fully reimbursed the money advanced to them. Instead, some of the implicated officials were promoted to higher ranks. Residents demanded the implementation of the recommendations as well as being given the proof of the implementation thereof;[29]

3.16.4                Weak Audit Function

The internal audit function is weak when it fails to detect irregularities. Residents complained that the Municipality was neglecting to detect cases of fraud perpetrated by the staff of the municipality. It was reported that there were times when employees of the Municipality of Redcliff, converted money paid by residents for water consumption to their own use and these cases were not detected on time. This has been particularly the case at the Torwood Municipality sub-office where one of the employees converted close to US$251 to his or her own use. The case was under police investigations at the time of reporting. [30] Another case took place in 2012 in which a municipality employee was arrested and sentenced to community service at Mafidi Mnangagwa Primary school.  However, a former employee of the municipality made it clear that there are many officials who are stealing money but no action was being taken and he challenged to municipality management to strengthen its audit function in order to detect such cases before they cripple the local authority.

3.16.5                Unprocedural Changes of Ownership of Properties

A resident of Simbi Park complained that his stand was changed into another person’s name without his consent and in the absence of any consultations. In a letter to the Town Clerk dated 14 May 2014 and copied to the Mayor, Ward Councillor, Mr. Mutondo, Kwekwe Legal Advice Centre, Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa, ZimRights and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, the resident raised serious concerns on how he had been deprived of ownership of a stand on which he had built a modern house.[31] It is through these irregularities that the name of the municipality continues to be soiled.

4    Resource Mobilisation Gaps and Proposed Strategies for Improved Service in the Water and Sanitation Sector in Redcliff

____________________________________________________________________________

The gaps highlighted above, hindering effective and efficient service delivery in the water and sanitation sector speak volumes about the need for the Municipality of Redcliff to embark on a rigorous resource mobilization drive.

4.1       Resources Mobilisation Gaps

The following areas will undoubtedly require resources:

  1. Setting up the Water Purification Plant:

Redcliff relies on water which it buys from ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel. This is the case since it does not have a water treatment plant of its own. ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel also buys water from the City of Kwekwe. In the long term, the Municipality of Redcliff should consider mobilizing resources from the central government, and development partners among others to set up its own plant which will draw water from Kwekwe River.

  1. Completing Unfinished Projects:

Donor funded projects such as water reservoirs were not completed due to financial constraints. A classic example is a water reservoir that was funded by USAID. It is important for the Municipality of Redcliff to contact the respective donors and check on their willingness to support the completion of the projects that they started. It would a waste of resources if such projects remain incomplete.

  • Rehabilitating the Rutendo Sewage Reticulation System:

In Rutendo and in an area known as ‘Magamba’, the existing sewage reticulation system was poorly designed and this has resulted in numerous sewage leakages that are difficult to eliminate. The Municipality of Redcliff requires US$300,000 to re-design the sewage system and get rid of the leakages.

  1. Repairing and Maintenance of Water Pumps:

Sewage pumps at Redcliff Sewage Treatment Plant were not working due to lack of service or maintenance. This posed a danger to human and animal life since raw sewage was being emptied in a near by Rutendo/Nhamo River. Consequently, resources will be required to repair the existing pumps or buy new ones.

  1. Human Resource Gaps:

Many positions were not filled and people were acting in different capacities. At the time of reporting the position of Engineer has just been filled after the Town Planner had acted in that capacity for many years. Resultantly, qualified people should be hired and this requires financial resources. Whilst waiting for resources to recruit the services of permanent employees, the Municipality of Redcliff is recommended to exploit the volunteer modality through engaging UNV Experts, VSO professionals, US Peace Corps experts, and JICA Volunteers to name but a few since these experts are qualified and can help the municipality to carry out its mandate in the most effective and efficient manner.

4.2       Proposed Resource Mobilisation Strategies

The following strategies are proposed for implementation by the Municipality of Redcliff:

  1. Infrastructure Handover from ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel:

The ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel should consider handing over the water infrastructure including the water pipes from Dutchman Pools to Redcliff, water reservoirs and pump station. This is not new since ZINWA was previously given full responsibility as a water authority but this has for a long time been denied to the Municipality of Redcliff. This calls for discussions between ZISCO Steel/NewZim Steel and the Municipality of Redcliff.

  1. Motivating Residents and Ratepayers:

The Municipality of Redcliff should establish and nurture good rapport with the residents and rate payers. The residents appeared to have been frustrated and angry with the municipality for not attending to the water and sewage leakages, imposing levies, and failing to regularly supply water among other complaints. As an important source of revenue the Municipality has no choice but to treat the residents well.

  • Approaching the Central Government:

The central government should be approached to give the much needed resources for improved service delivery in the water and sanitation sector.

  1. Approaching Previous Donors:

Donors who previously supported the municipality should be visited to check on whether they will be able to support the completion of some projects that were left incomplete.

  1. Exploiting the Volunteer Modality:

The world is awash with volunteers as an important resource towards achieving development effectiveness. Possible partners who can supply fully-paid experts include: United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, US Peace Corps, VSO, and Skillshare, among others. In the short and mid term, the Municipality of Redcliff, should be encouraged to exploit this volunteer route since most of the volunteers are experienced engineers, town planners, managers, accountants, teachers, and different technicians to name but a few.

  1. Approaching the Private Sector:

The private sector is urged to support development activities in their areas of operation as part of their corporate social responsibilities. However, the municipality should develop a policy to motivate the private sector to contribute towards development initiatives in Redcliff.

  1. Smart Partnership with other Local Authorities in Other Countries:

The municipality should explore partnering with other local authorities in other countries. It is through smart partnerships that local authorities can learn from each other and improve on service delivery.

  • Diaspora Contributions:

Zimbabweans in the Diaspora have an important role to play in linking the Municipality of Redcliff to donors in different parts of the world. The drilling of boreholes in Torwood is a good example to showcase how Zimbabweans in the Diaspora can contribute. If Zimbabweans are adequately engaged, they will link the municipality to donors.

5    Conclusion and Recommendations

____________________________________________________________________________

What is crystal clear, in this case study is that the Municipality of Redcliff is failing and/or neglecting to execute its mandate vis-à-vis the provision of safe, regular and affordable water to its residents. This is a cause for serious concern since the accessibility to safe and affordable water is a human right and any denial thereof is tantamount to human rights violation.  The following recommendations are made:

5.1        Recommendations to all Stakeholders

  • Relevant stakeholders should organize a meeting to openly dialogue on the water and sanitation situation in Redcliff in order bring about improvements. It is proposed that the Municipality of Redcliff, City of Kwekwe, ZINWA, ZISCO/NewZim Steel, Resident Associations, the District Administrator’s Office, Development Agencies, Donors, the Private Sector and other partners should meet and discuss on the way forward.

5.2        Recommendations to the Ministry of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development

  • Intervene into the water crisis facing Redcliff;
  • Legislative reviews may be needed to ensure that water is made available cheaply to the people;
  • Provide resources or link the Municipality of Redcliff to other stakeholders to ensure that it can set up its own water purification plant;
  • Pronounce itself on the legality of water disconnections that are rampant in Redcliff; and
  • Ensure the implementation of recommendations of a fact finding mission that was set up in 2010

5.3        Recommendations to the Municipality of Redcliff;

  • Immediately attend to all cases of water and sewage leakages reported in Redcliff;
  • The Municipality should mobilize resources to set up its own water purification plant, which will save it from inconveniences caused by other parties in the water supply chain. Furthermore, it is envisaged that the Municipality will also be able to supply cheap water to its residents;
  • Procure water directly from ZINWA instead of passing through many stakeholders that include: the City of Kwekwe, and NewZim Steel;
  • Immediately reduce the price of water to residents of Redcliff and charge water at the rate at which residents of the City of Kwekwe are charged;
  • Avoid discriminating residents when it comes to the provision of water. This recommendation stems from the finding that the Municipality gives other residents water but denies others;
  • Stop water disconnections without following the due process of the law;
  • Strengthen its audit function to ensure that cases of fraud are detected and corrective action is timeously taken;
  • Remove the special levy of US$10 and refund all those who have paid it. The levy has exacerbated people’s suffering;
  • Repair the existing boreholes and if possible provide more boreholes in the affected areas;
  • Stop without any further delays the disposal of raw sewage into the Nhamo/Rutendo River since the disposal thereof, puts the lives of human and animals in jeopardy;
  • Improve on security since unscrupulous individuals responsible for the missing, vandalized and stolen equipment at the Sewage Treatment Plants took advantage of security lax;
  • Explore the implementation of resource mobilization strategies highlighted under Section 4 of this report.

5.4        Recommendations to the Environmental Management Authority

  • Investigate and take corrective action against the disposal of raw sewage into the Nhamo / Rutendo river since the illegal disposal thereof, is putting the lives of animals and human beings in great danger;
  • Investigate the case of emissions from the Steel Makers Simbi Park branch and take corrective action since the health of residents is in peril

5.5        Recommendations to ZISCO Steel and the NewZim Steel Management

  • Dialogue with the Municipality of Redcliff in order to find a lasting solution to the water crisis facing the town. It is recommended that discussions with the Municipality of Redcliff should explore possibilities towards handing over the management of water to the municipality including the pipeline and the pump station among other equipments;
  • Rehabilitate the Cactus Water Purification Plant or hand it over to the Municipality of Redcliff to enable it to rehabilitate it and supplement the existing water supply;

5.6        Recommendations to Steel Makers Zimbabwe in Redcliff

  • Immediately stop all forms of pollution endangering the lives of residents of Simbi Park and Rutendo suburbs

5.7        Recommendations to the City of Kwekwe

  • Take over the responsibility for distribution of water until the current crisis is resolved; or engage the Municipality of Redcliff to ensure that water is supplied to residents of Redcliff at the same rate at which the City of Kwekwe supplies its residents.

5.8        Recommendations to the Zimbabwe National Water Supply Authority (ZINWA)

  • ZINWA should consider supplying water directly to the Municipality of Redcliff in order to avoid many stakeholders who are part of the existing water supply chain which has made water supply too costly;
  • Provide water at a small amount of money, since its sells raw water and does not incur significant

5.9        Recommendations to the Parliament of Zimbabwe

The recommendations are specifically made to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee responsible for Water and Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Local Government

  • Commission a fact finding mission to Redcliff and find out the root causes for unavailability and un-affordability of water;
  • The problem of water and in some cases the mismanagement of water by local governments is rampant, and water cuts among other actions are widespread, yet the availability of water, not just water but ‘safe water’ is a fundamental human rights issue. This calls for a radical reflection on the issue as well as how national laws and policies can be reformed to ensure that clean water is supplied at an affordable price as well as dealing with the issue pertaining to the legality of water disconnections;

5.10     Recommendations to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation

  • Conduct a country mission to investigate the enjoyment of the rights to water and sanitation in Redcliff and other parts of Zimbabwe; and
  • Advise the government or the Municipality of Redcliff on specific measures required for the realization of the rights to water and sanitation.

5.11     Recommendations to Residents of Redcliff (Low and High Density Suburbs)

  • Set up a Residents and Ratepayers Association to confront the Municipality of Redcliff vis-à-vis the water crisis among other service delivery challenges;
  • Monitor the quality of service delivery and inform the Municipality of Redcliff through Ward Councillors, residents association or directly to the management.

5.12     Recommendations to Development Partners

  • Partner with the Municipality of Redcliff in addressing the water and sanitation gaps identified in the report;
  • Development partners who previously supported some projects that remain incomplete should discuss with the Municipality of Redcliff on how such projects could be completed;

5.13     Recommendations to Zimbabweans in the Diaspora

  • Identify possible donors and link them to the Municipality of Redcliff or any other party that they feel comfortable working with;

5.14     Recommendations to the Private Sector

  • As part of the sector’s corporate social responsibility, it should contribute towards the alleviation of water challenges bedeviling Redcliff;
  • Donate boreholes to the residents of Redcliff.

 

Annexes

____________________________________________________________________________

®     Terms of Reference- Assessment of Service Delivery in the Water and Sanitation Sector in Redcliff

  1. Introduction

On the 19th of July 2014, the Kwekwe/Redcliff Anti-Corruption and Service Delivery Monitoring Voluntary Action Group (KACSDM-VAG) made a resolution to investigate the underlying reasons why there was a crisis of water and sanitation in Redcliff.[32] Reports from the members of the KACSDM-VAG residing in Redcliff and residents of Redcliff alleged flagrant violation of the human right to water and sanitation and that the violation was continuing unabated. Among the alleged challenges include: irregular supply of water, rampant water and sewage leakages, high price of water as compared to Kwekwe, and unresponsive leadership to name but a few. Consequently, the assessment is aimed at uncovering the water and sanitation gaps thereof and propose recommendations to different stakeholders who are part of the water supply chain and other relevant stakeholders.

 

  1. Project Scope

The assessment will cover Redcliff and investigate the water and sanitation situation.

 

  1. Assessment Objectives

The objectives of the assessment are as follows:

  1. To investigate the water governance structure and how the structure could be contributing to the water and sanitation crisis;
  2. To probe and document the actual situation on the ground vis-à-vis the following:
    1. The water supply situation;
    2. Incidents of water and sewage leakages and how responsive is the municipality in addressing the leakage thereof;
    3. Capacity of the Municipality of Redcliff in addressing the water and sanitation crisis;
    4. Accountability, transparency, integrity and legitimacy (ATIL) of the Municipality of Redcliff since ATIL has a bearing how effective and efficient is the municipality in addressing the water and sanitation situation;
    5. Resource mobilization efforts in addressing the water crisis;
    6. And any other areas that the research team shall deem fit as long as such areas are connected to the water and sanitation crisis
  • To propose specific recommendations to different stakeholders;
  1. To propose a resource mobilization strategy for improved service delivery in the water sector in Redcliff

 

  1. Assessment Outputs

The key output will be a report that has specific recommendations to different stakeholders. Further to the report the research team will be required to use the Redcliff case study and propose a tool that will be used to measure service delivery in the water sector. The report will be for public consumption whilst the measuring tool will be for internal use.

  1. Timelines

It is expected that the research team completes the assignment on or before the 1st of September 2014.

 

®List of Institutions Consulted

  1. The Municipality of Redcliff;
  2. The City of Kwekwe
  3. Zimbabwe National Water Supply Authority (ZINWA);
  4. Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO Steel)

 

Endnotes

____________________________________________________________________________

[1] The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa) is a regional, non-governmental and non-political organisation that was set up in 2004 to campaign against corruption, and poor service delivery in Southern Africa. ACT-Southern Africa is registered in Zimbabwe as a non-governmental organisation. (Registration No. MA 147/2004 refers). The work of ACT-Southern Africa entails: national and regional advocacy for anti-corruption and governance policy and law reform; social prevention and community empowerment; institutional capacity building; and anti-corruption /governance research.

[2] The Kwekwe/Redcliff Anti-Corruption and Service Delivery Monitoring Voluntary Action Group (KACSDM-VAG) is a group of individuals who are concerned about corruption and poor service delivery in the Kwekwe, Redcliff, Silobela and Zhombe. The members came together and agreed to implement activities aimed at preventing and combating corruption and poor service delivery within their communities. The group acts as a watchdog against corruption and poor service delivery and works closely with relevant authorities in preventing and combating corruption and improving service delivery in a number of sectors that include health, and education among others. Apart from whistle blowing functions, public education and reporting corruption the KACSDM-VAG also monitors and reports on service delivery

[3] The UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation (2013). Frequently Asked Questions. [online]. Available at http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Water/FAQWater_en.pdf. [Accessed on 22 July 2014]

[4] NewZim Steel is a subsidiary of Essar Holdings (Pvt) Limited

[5] Meeting with the Municipality of Redcliff on the 28th of August 2014

[6] ibid

[7] ibid

[8] This recommendation was supported by a number of stakeholders that include: the City of Kwekwe, ZINWA, residents and the Municipality of Redcliff itself, though its implementation was perceived in the long term considering the abundance of resources needed for its implementation.

[9] Recommended by residents on the 8th of August 2014 in Rutendo.

[10] ibid

[11] The meeting with the Municipality of Redcliff on the 28th of August 2014

[12] Ibid

[13] Interview conducted on the 20th of August 2014 in Redcliff.

[14] Meeting with residents on the 29th of August 2014.

[15] Meeting with residents on the 3rd of August 2014 in Rutendo

[16] Meeting with the Municipality of Redcliff on the 28th of August 2014

[17] Meeting with residents on the 22nd of July 2014

[18] Meeting with the Town Clerk on the 28th of August 2014

[19] ibid

[20] Meeting with the Town Clerk of the Municipality of Redcliff on the 28th of August 2014

[21] Ibid

[22] Meeting some residents on the 20th of August 2014

[23] Page 1 of The Midlands Observer of the week 4-8 August 2014

[24] Petition from residents to Steel Makers dated 14 June 2014

[25] All invoices or statements received by Simbi Park residents reflect public lighting yet there are no such services in their suburb.

[26] Meeting with the Municipality of Redcliff on the 28th of August 2014 at the Municipality of Redcliff offices

[27] Meeting with residents on 22 July 2014. Some councillors distanced themselves from the decision to impose the special levy since they were also not consulted.

[28] The terms of reference of the team included among others: establishing the reasons for the suspension of the Mr. Trust Semwayo (Acting Town Clerk) in 2009, investigating possible abuse of public funds by councillors, officials and failure to comply with policies and regulations in the disbursement and use of public funds; and investigating the accounting, financial and personnel systems of council and to ascertain the underlying reasons for a decline in service delivery and collective decisions being taken by management and the councillors

[29] Interview with residents of Rutendo on 25 July2014

[30] Interview with residents on 22 July 2014

[31] Letter written by Mr. Mandava dated 14 May 2014 and received by the Municipality of Redcliff on the same date.

[32] The Kwekwe/Redcliff Anti-Corruption and Service Delivery Monitoring Voluntary Action Group (KACSDM-VAG) is a group of individuals who are concerned about corruption and poor service delivery in the Kwekwe, Redcliff, Silobela and Zhombe. The members came together and agreed to implement activities aimed at preventing and combating corruption and poor service delivery within their communities. The group acts as a watchdog against corruption and poor service delivery and works closely with relevant authorities in preventing and combating corruption and improving service delivery in a number of sectors that include health, and education among others. Apart from whistle blowing functions, public education and reporting corruption the KACSDM-VAG also monitors and reports on service delivery

[i] Parliament of Zimbabwe (2011).  Redcliff Municipality Profile. [online]. Available from: http://www.parlzim.gov.zw/attachments/article/135/Redcliff.pdf. [Accessed on 22 July 2014] – Page 3

[ii] Wikimedia Foundation, Inc (2013). Redcliff, Zimbabwe. [online]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redcliff,_Zimbabwe. [Accessed on 22 July 2014]

[iii] Sunday News (2012). ZINWA threatens to disconnect Kwekwe. [online]. Available from: http://www.sundaynews.co.zw/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=27667:zinwa-threatens-to-disconnect-Kwekwe&catid=38:local-news&Itemid=131. [Accessed on 22 July 2014]

[iv] The Chronicle (2012). NewZim Steel owes Kwekwe Council $9 million. [online]. Available at http://www.chronicle.co.zw/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44383:newzim-steel-owes-Kwekwe-council-9-million&catid=38:local-news&Itemid=131. [Accessed on 22 July 2014]

[v] NewsDay (2012). Chombo comes to Redcliff rescue. [online]. Available from:  http://www.newsday.co.zw/2012/04/26/2012-04-26-chombo-comes-to-Redcliff-rescue/. [Accessed on 22 July 2014]

[vi] Maodza, T and Chideme, M (2010) (HERALD) Team set up to probe Redcliff. [online]. Available from: http://maravi.blogspot.com/2010/01/herald-team-set-up-to-probe-Redcliff.html. [Accessed on 22 July 2014]

About Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa

The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa) is a non-profit making organisation registered to facilitate the sharing of anti-corruption best practices and advocacy against corruption in Southern Africa.
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1 Response to THE WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION SITUATION IN REDCLIFF, ZIMBABWE: THE HUMAN RIGHT TO WATER AND SANITATION IN PERIL

  1. Civil Society Organisations formed a coalition to address the water crisis facing the towns of Kwekwe and Redcliff. The coalition served a petition to the City of Kwekwe and the Municipality of Redcliff on the 17th and 18th of November 2014. Thanks to members of Civil Society Organisations

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