Covid- 19 SITUATIONAL Update

Period: Monday 18 May 2020- Thursday 21 May 2020

  1. Introduction – On 17 May 2020, the President announced that lockdown level 2 is to be
    extended for an indefinite period, with reviews to come after every two weeks. Essential
    services continue to be accessible to residents, while informal street markets remain shut.
    Operating hours for businesses have been extended from a maximum of six hours to more
    than eight hours between 8am and 4.30pm. People are still required to leave their homes
    wearing face masks, whether improvised or manufactured. Anyone found outside their home
    without a face mask faces arrest. Private transport operators are still not permitted to operate
    and those who wish to operate should join and do so under the ZUPCO franchise. The Harare
    Residents’ Trust (HRT) continues to monitor the situation in Harare suburbs during the
    lockdown. Key areas of monitoring include water delivery, citizens’ awareness of the
    coronavirus, responsiveness of council officials on citizens’ reports, lockdown enforcement by
    City and State security officials (human rights approach), refuse collections, compliance with
    lockdown regulations on people’s movement. The situational update also highlights the
    situation on food security, the transport situation and availability of fuel around Harare.
  2. Situation Update
    2.1 Water – Water supply is still a problem across Harare suburbs. A few suburbs are receiving
    municipal tap water, and when they receive it is for a few days per week and for a few hours
    per day. In Budiriro 2, residents are still receiving council water twice a week, from around
    2300hrs to 0100hrs when people are asleep. In Ardbernnie, there is no water since Monday,
    18 May. Residents in Mabvuku received tap water on 18 May from around 12pm to 3pm. This
    was for the first time in three years. They have been relying on City Council water bowsers
    and community boreholes. However, the bowsers did not come this week leading to increased
    pressure on the boreholes. In Glen View, only residents from Glen View 3B received water on
    Tuesday, 19 May. Other parts of the suburb have not received water as yet this week. They
    are relying on boreholes as well. In Glen Norah A, residents received water from Monday 18
    May to Wednesday 20 May. Residents in Glen Norah B had tap water for brief periods on
    Monday and Wednesday, 18 and 20 May 2020. In Rugare Ward 13, pipes were being repaired
    during the past week and people started receiving water on Tuesday 19 May. Tap water is
    available in Kuwadzana 5 since Monday. In Tynwald South there is no water since Tuesday. In
    Unit K Chitungwiza, there is no water and residents are having to rely on private water
    bowsers and boreholes which are selling water at an average of $ZWL 2.00 per 20-litre bucket.
    The unavailability of tap water is resulting in queues at community water points, where social
    distancing is rarely practised. Private players continue to thrive as more and more residents
    are resorting to buying water.
    2.2 Health – The council clinic in Kuwadzana 5 is mainly attending to emergency situations. The
    maternity scale is not operating. Rujeko Clinic in Dzivarasekwa is operating normally. They are
    however attending to a limited number of people per day, as a preventative measure against
    Covid-19. Mabvuku Clinic is also fully functional. Residents in Glen View are reporting that
    they are getting assistance at Makonzva Clinic without any challenges.
    2.3 Movement and awareness of Covid-19 – It seems as if the lockdown is only restricting
    people’s movement into the Central Business District, while movements within and across
    neighbouring suburbs is not restricted. People are moving around freely and social distancing
    is not being practised. In Rugare people are now drinking beer at shops and shops are no
    longer limiting the number of people entering. In Kuwadzana 1 the situation is the same.
    People are moving around disregarding the proposed preventative measures. Young people
    are the main culprits in Glen View. People across Harare suburbs are also ignoring the call to
    wear face masks. Residents are only wearing the masks when they are visiting places that they
    know they might come across the police. Masks are not being worn as a preventative measure,
    but for fear of the police. Awareness is therefore still lacking in the communities. On Monday
    and Tuesday, a large number of people were arrested at Unit L shops in Chitungwiza for not
    wearing masks. The police are conducting surprise raids at shopping centres, and the number
    of people getting arrested for not wearing masks shows that people are lacking awareness.
    On Wednesday, 20 May 2020, people were arrested again at Makoni Shopping Centre. On
    Monday 18 May, in Kuwadzana 7 soldiers chased away people who were congested at a
    borehole without practising social distancing. Generally, people are still ignoring the proposed
    preventative measures because there is a belief that Black Africans are resistant to the
    disease. There is also a sense that people should just look for money and stop worrying much
    about their personal health. People seem to take the health situation lightly, preferring rather
    to focus on livelihoods. They need to be educated thoroughly.
    2.4 Food and security – Families are struggling to make ends meet, and putting food on the table
    has become a difficult task for many breadwinners. The situation has not improved. People
    are still waiting for the government’s promised food aid which came at the beginning of the
    lockdown on 30 March 2020. On Monday, 18 May 2020 in Kuwadzana 1, officials from the
    ruling party distributed packets of rice to party members. Those without proof of being ruling
    party members were not assisted. Reports this week are indicating that in some suburbs there
    are no more long queues at supermarkets. OK supermarket in Mabvuku does not have basic
    commodities. Commodities are available in small supermarkets, but they are priced beyond
    the reach of most of the consumers. A 2kg packet of sugar is going for $ZWL 65.99 at Machipisa
    Shopping Centre. It is now rare to come across the government subsidised mealie-meal, which
    was selling at ZW$70.00 per 10 kg packet. This means that residents have to resort to the
    mealie-meal in small shops, priced at an average of $US5.00 per 10kg.
    2.5 Responsiveness of council officials on citizens’ reports – A resident in Canaan Highfield has
    been reporting an electricity fault since the beginning of the lockdown. They are still to receive
    assistance from ZESA officials. In Rugare, residents spent six days without electricity. The fault
    was repaired on Tuesday, 19 May. However, some faults which were reported in Mbare
    National and Bradfields were not attended to. In Kuwadzana 5, sewage bursts are being
    attended to quickly.
    2.6 Transport – Reports this week are showing that the ZUPCO buses are still falling short way
    beyond the number that is needed to transport people to and from their workplaces. People
    are spending hours queuing for buses at termini around Harare. At Unit C in Chitungwiza,
    people are starting to queue as early as 3am. People are also congesting at bus termini across
    the CBD after work. Social distancing is not being observed, with shoving each other as they
    try to gain entrance into the few buses that are available. Some are leaving the CBD after
    10pm, and these are the same people who have to start queuing very early the next morning.
    2.7 Other updates – Lockdown enforcement authorities are no longer moving around in suburbs,
    despite a few visits to shopping centres. On Monday it was reported that in Zengeza 5, the
    police received bribes from people who were not wearing masks. School extra lessons are now
    being done at teachers’ homes in Glen Norah B, Glaudina, Dzivarasekwa, Kuwadzana, Glen
    View and Budiriro. However, the teachers are sanitising students and trying to observe social
    distancing. The availability of fuel is now a problem across the Harare Metropolitan Province.
    Most fuel stations do not have diesel. The queues for petrol are now getting longer. Diesel is
    available at fuel stations which sell in $US.
    3 Conclusion – Residents are still lacking in terms of awareness. People are moving around freely,
    without implementing the proposed preventative measures for Covid-19. The lockdown
    enforcement authorities are also not doing enough to stop the unnecessary movements and some
    are also reported to be receiving bribes from trespassers. Water is still an issue, as people are
    having to queue at community boreholes and paying private suppliers. Families are struggling to
    put food on their tables because the informal sector is still shut down and prices continue to
    increase. The transport situation also needs to be addressed because people are spending more
    time in queues than they are spending on production. ZUPCO buses should be increase to cater
    for the increased number of workers going to work under the Level Two lockdown regulations.
    4 Next Update – Monday, 25 May 2020.
    HRT- Achieving Free, Empowered and Prosperous Citizenry! Stay Safe!
    Contact Details: hretrust79@gmail.com, info@hrt.org.zw, 08677109781, and 0772 380 927, 0772
    869294, 0778585126, www.hrt.org.zw
    .

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