As the country continues the fight against Covid-19, sanitation and hygiene issues have become a key aspect of everyday life.
However, local authorities that have already been struggling to provide quality service to residents have been left exposed as the need for improved services has become more pronounced.
Chipinge residents this week raised concerns on the increase in open defecation in areas around the central business district and appealed to the town’s local authority to speed up construction of public toilets to address the challenge.
Chipinge town community association chairperson Mr Lincoln Mwaimbodei said only one public toilet was being used by the whole town, and this posed health hazards to residents at a time when Covid-19 cases are on the rise.
“The shortage of public toilets in our town is of concern. The whole population that operates in town only has access to the one toilet at the bus terminus. The other one which was being constructed using devolution funds is still not operational,” he said.
He said Chipinge Rural District Council had indicated that all material for the public toilet had been procured, but almost a year later, construction was still to be completed.
Mr Mwaimbodei revealed that vendors and other people operating in the CBD were using alleys to relieve themselves, which posed a serious health hazard.
“With the Covid-19 pandemic, our situation is worrying and we request our local authority to open the new toilet to the public soon or else people will die. We need to be careful,” he added.
Responding to the concerns, Chipinge town secretary Dr Susan Dube said the Civic centre public toilet which was under construction would soon be open to the public.
She said the authority was working to complete work on the public toilet to address the challenge.