Sunday 21 April 2024


Public toilets in central Harare continue to be closed, with the city council putting up notices stating this is because of a lack of water.

This has seen vendors, people living in the streets and commuter omnibus drivers relieving themselves along the service lanes and in dark corners.

The public toilets have notices on the doors reading, “Not in Use — No Water”.

For a city that is eyeing world class city status by 2025, the stench in the streets of Harare and the faecal matter in alleys present a scenario far from ideal.

At the end of last week, toilets located at Harare Gardens, Copacabana, Charge Office and Sam Nujoma Street were not in use as continuous pipe bursts rendered them unfit for use.

Despite the notice indicating there was no water in the restroom at Charge Office rank, people were still using it.

Fresh fruit and snacks are being sold by vendors behind the restrooms, endangering public health especially since the cholera outbreak, while drastically diminished, is still live and infection remains a risk.

According to a taxi driver who works at the Copacabana, the council ought to offer complimentary restrooms.

“I used to assume that using the public restroom was free, but I was shocked to learn that they now cost 50 cents, and I cannot afford that. My wish is that the city council should fulfil its duties by providing free toilets. To save my money, I use those pavements and buildings as toilets,” he said.

A vendor, who preferred  to remain anonymous, said the council was taking residents for granted.

“These public toilets have been closed for quite some time because there is no water. The toilets are not even being maintained and people are relieving themselves anywhere. I do not know why the council is hanging on to facilities that are not adding any value to ratepayers.’’

Another resident, who only identified herself as Mrs Chengetai, had no kind words.

“Council has not even expressed regret, people are using the surrounding bushes as places to relieve themselves, which puts us at risk of disease epidemics. Ultimately, the public restrooms are broken,” she remarked.

At the Charge Office public transport ranks, a driver named Nancy Svoni lodged a complaint against the attendant for charging them for tissue paper.

“They charged us $2 000 for tissue paper, even though sometimes they allowed us to use the toilet,” the woman remarked.

Harare City council spkesperson, Mr Stanley Gama said that they are working in partnership with ZRP to investigate and prosecute city council workers who are charging the public to use the toilets’’

“We are engaging with the ZRP to prosecute those who are practising unethical things at work, such as corruption. For this will not achieve our vision goal of becoming a world-class city by 2025,” he said Herald  




Post a Comment