(Harare, November 19, 2013) — The water and sanitation crisis in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, places millions of residents at risk of waterborne disease. Five years after cholera killed over 4,000 people and sickened 100,000 more, the conditions that allowed the epidemic to flourish persist in Harare’s high-density suburbs.
The 60-page report, “Troubled Water: Burst Pipes, Contaminated Wells, and Open Defecation in Zimbabwe’s Capital,” describes how residents have little access to potable water and sanitation services, and often resort to drinking water from shallow, unprotected wells that are contaminated with sewage, and to defecating outdoors. The conditions violate their right to water, sanitation, and health. The report is based on research conducted in 2012 and 2013 in Harare, including 80 interviews with residents, mostly women, in eight high-density suburbs.