Chiredzi residents have blasted council proposals to introduce prepaid water meters which, if passed, will see residents buying coupons in order to access water.
United Chiredzi Residents and Rate payers Association (UCHRRA) chairman, Josphat Tizirai criticised the proposals saying they will create more unnecessary expenses for residents who are already financially burdened.
"The plan is appalling and we cannot accept it. It cost $400 to install a prepaid meter, so if council affords that why not invest the money in water infrastructure maintenance so we can have enough water? If they mean to say residents will foot the bill of the installations, how would we manage since we are already struggling to pay our current water expenses?" Tizirai said.
He said prepaid water meters would undermine public health since poor families would be forced to reduce their daily water consumption to levels that are lower than those recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
"Studies that have been carried out show that using prepaid water meters leads to higher chances of outbreak of diseases such as dysentery and cholera and the poor are the most affected as they cannot afford to pay for the required units," Tizirai said.
Other residents from wards 5 and 8 condemned the suggestions, saying prepaid water meters would increase inequality and poverty in the society.
"Prepaid meters mean water will become a commodity for the privileged and wealthy despite the fact that water is a basic commodity while access to it is considered a human right," said one resident.
No comment could be obtained from town engineer, Wesley Kauma by the time of going to print.news