Media Advisory - BPRA and ZIMCODD Launch Campaign Against Prepaid Water Meters in Bulawayo
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) in partnership with the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) will on Saturday 22 March 2014 hold a meeting to discuss the move by the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to introduce prepaid water meters in Bulawayo. The meeting, which is set to take place in Cowdray Park (ward 28) where BCC intends to pilot the gadgets comes on the occasion of World Water Day commemorations which recognise access to clean, potable water as an inalienable human right. The aim of the meeting is to begin a debate on the merits and demerits of introduction of prepaid water meters in Bulawayo with the mind of mobilising residents to reject them as a violation of the right to water. The meeting will be graced by the Mayor of Bulawayo, Councillor Martin Moyo and the councillor of Cowdray Park, Collet Ndlovu. It is set to take place from 10am to 1pm.

The main question to be addressed by the meeting is whether or not it is prudent to introduce prepaid water meters in light of Zimbabwe’s political and socio-economic situation that has reduced most Zimbabweans to paupers with unemployment estimated at over 80 percent and most citizens with incomes below the poverty datum line. The meeting shall also question the effects of prepaid water meters on poor communities in light of the fact that safety nets for vulnerable groupings have all but disappeared since the inception of Zimbabwe’s political and economic challenges in the year 2000.

BPRA and ZIMCODD believe that prepaid water meters are undesirable as they lead to automatic disconnection of those who cannot afford to purchase water credit, meaning that poor people would be denied their right to water or forced to use less water than they need to lead a healthy life. They are also discriminatory as they allow the rich to use as much water as they want yet usage by the poor is limited. The two organisations have undertaken research that found that prepaid water meters are retrogressive, especially in poor communities.

Meeting to Discuss Introduction of Prepaid Water Meters in Bulawayo

28 (Cowdray Park)
Mahlathini Primary School
10am – 1pm
Prepaid Water Meters

Journalists are invited to cover the meeting.

Information Department
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association
Bus. Tel: +263 9 61196
Cell: +263 772 516 729 or 0775 233 581
Twitter: @byopra