There are many United Nations international days that come and pass in a year. Some pass with little notice on my part.
I cannot afford to ignore international water day 2021 as it strikes a responsive chord with I and possibly many of my fellow country men and women.
Growing up in the country’s second biggest metropolis, The City of Bulawayo, I never imagined that there will be a time were I would go for weeks on end without access to water. Never did I also imagine that there will be a time were the local authority will deliver contaminated water directly to my water tap.
I trusted duty bearers to deliver clean and safe water to my home. Each time I opened my water, I had faith that water was going to flow out and that water would be safe for consumption.
Last year, owing to successive droughts and the subsequent dwindling of water in the city’s supply dams, my tap ran dry. Of course, this had happened in the past. However, what was different about last year is that, for the first time in my life, duty bearers negligently supplied contaminated water on the few occasions when they could pump water to our homes.
According to media reports, at least 13 people died and hundreds fell ill as a result of consuming contaminated water.
On this international water day, I call upon duty bearers to realise the value of water. As the old cliche goes, “water is life.”
Duty bearers have an obligation to supply safe, clean and potable water as enshrined in section 77(a) of the constitution. Access to potable water is a human right and the State has a positive obligation to ensure that citizens enjoy this right.