World Water Day 2021 - Personal Reflections of a Grassroots Advocate on the Enjoyment of the Right to Water in Zimbabwe

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.

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Yes dear Paul “water is life” but the all situation is on the entrusted duty bearers. World Water Day is very “BIG” on duty bearers’ papers not in practice. Look at the process of delivering water to consumers from the main sources, “Paul” end up consuming contaminated water, it is practically impossible to consumer clean and safe water in just “12” months.

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Thanks for brining up the matter is such lucid yet vivid manner. It indeed a duty cast upon the state to provide safe and potable water to its people and the crisis looming large in terms of water scarcity cannot be over emphasized. It is important that the scientific innovations are utilized to purify water at a large scale in order to address this water scarcity. Communities needs to get together in order to wave across this predicament. I hope we all can stick together and make our state remain subservient to the cause to the people and work with us to find practical solutions to these emerging issues.

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Many thanks Tanmoy for your response. Indeed, I agree with you. We need to build community movements that are adequately capacitated with understanding their rights and how to claim them through the use of the law.