GWANDA residents, who have built houses on stands that are not serviced, are stuck as there is no running water or toilets, posing serious health risks.

Some of the stands were allegedly allocated clandestinely and people started building before they could be serviced.

Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo is on record issuing a strong warning that there is no construction that can ever take place on land that has not been serviced.

Local authorities have been continuously urged to fully develop residential areas before settling people as they have a right to access all amenities.

Gwanda Mayor Councillor Njabulo Siziba said the local authority will not be allocating any new stands before they are serviced.

"This was a mistake from the onset. It's not allowed to construct houses on land that has not been serviced. There are no new stands that are being allocated in areas that have not been serviced. Those that have already been built are being kept as council considered the human face but it shouldn't have happened that the stands be allocated before they were serviced," said Clr Siziba.

He conceded that the unavailability of water and other amenities pose serious health risks.

"There are many health risks but we are pushing for the anomaly to be rectified. There was an initial arrangement that was made with the contractor to develop those stands but unfortunately that contractor failed to deliver. It would seem the contractor went bankrupt before completing the job. It now becomes a challenge to those that have finished constructing their homes because they can't be given certificates of occupation," said Clr Siziba.

He said one becomes the owner of a house once they are given a certificate of occupation.

Meanwhile, Gwanda Municipality has been allocated 2 000 hectares of land for development after the local authority had run out of space.

The development will help the municipality to clear its waiting list which is sitting at around 15 000.

The municipality had submitted lay out plans to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement requesting additional land.

Source - The Chronicle