THE poor state of the country’s infrastructure and lack of clean water as well as erratic service delivery have emerged as the most pressing issues encountered by Zimbabweans which government must seriously and immediately address, a survey by International Republican Institute has revealed.
The survey on Local Government and Constitutionalism notes the deteriorating infrastructure followed by the lack of clean water are some of the most serious problems encountered by Zimbabweans in their daily lives.
Conducted in all the country’s 10 provinces from December 2014 to January with the objective to identify citizens’ perceptions on the roles and responsibilities of locally elected councillors and traditional leaders with regard to local governance, the survey sampled 1 215 respondents aged 18 years and above with 720 in urban areas and 480 in rural areas.
Overall, 33% of the respondents said poor infrastructure was the main service delivery problem followed by lack of water at 28%, lack of clean water 12%, poor refuse collection and limited access to health care at 9%. Respondents in urban areas ranked lack of water as their main service delivery problem (29%) followed by poor refuse collection (26%), load-shedding at 25% and lack of clean water at 15%, among other problems.
In rural areas, Zimbabweans are mostly concerned about the poor infrastructure (36%), lack of water (23%), poor agricultural advice and support (21%), limited access to health care 12% and unaffordable health care at 11%, among other things.
“Women more often cited lack of clean water as their number one service delivery problem than men (10% versus 7%). Men more often mentioned poor infrastructure among the top three problems (47%) than women (40%),” reads the report.
The main reasons during the survey given by respondents as to why infrastructure is poor largely bordered on poor maintenance, with 31% blaming it on lack of funding and 12% saying it was due to inefficiency and incompetence on the part of government.
Respondents blamed lack of funding (25%), poor management and incompetence (16%) as the main reasons for the unavailability of water. Corruption and politics (19%) and lack of funding (53%) were mentioned as reasons for lack of agricultural advice and support, while lack of capacity or demand outstripping supply (38%), poor management and incompetence were cited as reason for load-shedding.