Bulawayo residents through the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association are suing their local authority for not providing them with safe drinking water after 13 people in Luveve Surburb died due to a Typhoid and Dysentry outbreak that was caused by contaminated water, Sunday News reports.
The residents on Thursday last week reportedly filed a class-action civil suit at the High Court against BCC for failing to provide them safe drinking water as required by the Urban Councils act.
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Court papers seen by the publication which cite BCC and Local Government Minister July Moyo as the first and second respondent respectively reads in part:
The statutory obligation of the first defendant is to provide and maintain a supply of safe and clean potable water to its council area, arising, in turn and inter alia from Section 183 of the Urban Council Act, Section 19 of the City of Bulawayo sewerage, drainage and water by-laws and Section 57 of the Environmental Management Act.
The first defendant breached these duties of care in that it supplied the plaintiffs and residents of its council areas with water contaminated with faecal matter, coliform bacteria and water that was visibly discoloured, mixed with solids, odoriferous and clearly unfit for human consumption.
As a result of the first defendant’s breach of its duties the plaintiffs were exposed to typhus, shigella and other bacteria which caused them to contract or materially contributed to them contracting a serious gastrointestinal disease. Further to the breach of its duties the first defendant behaved in an egregious, insidious and recalcitrant manner in that it was grossly negligent, failed to take adequate measures to diagnose and stop the spread of the outbreak, through its representatives adopted a callous, offensive and combative attitude even in the face of loss of lives
The residents have attached soil samples and medical reports for the outbreak to be used in the lawsuit. The government is on record confirming that the water that was pumped to Luveve residents was indeed contaminated with human waste.
More: Sunday News