By Mary Mundeya
Increased sewage bursts in the highly populated Mbare suburb have become a cause for concern as residents are now living in fear of disease outbreaks.
A site visit around Mbare showed this publication that the situation has now become very dangerously unhealthy as the sewage is everywhere.
A disgruntle Ward 3 resident, identified as Mrs Chirasha, said the community is now living in fear of cholera since the sewage effluent is flowing in people’s yards and roads as well.
“Sewage yepedu pano is a main line fault iri kuzadza mvura pamayard pedu nemu maroad zvekuti taakutogara takabatira hana mumaoko nenyaya yekutya Cholera”(the current sewage outburst is a result of a main line fault and is flowing in people’s yards and roads that we are living in fear of a cholera outbreak).
Another resident identified as Emilia added that they had been experiencing recurring sewage bursts for over 3 months now.
Despite the persistent attendance by Council workmen the problems keeps recurring.
“We have been having this problem for 3 months now, they come and attend to the problem, a day or two later the sewage starts to flow again”.
“Now when we call the City Council they say tinonetsa stereki (we are being problematic) because we have been on their case concerning the sewage issue for a long time”.
Asked for reasons behind increased sewage bursts Harare City Council Acting Director for Water Engineer Phakamile Mabhena Moyo said the bursts are largely a result of theft of cast iron lids.
This, he said, has left the main sewer lines exposed to members of the public who are throwing in litter as big as stones.
“Cast iron lids are being stolen and sold as scrap metal, which is leaving main sewer lines open to members of the public who are throwing in litter, some of which are big stones”.
Engineer Moyo added that the removal of litter blocking sewer pipes is mainly done using sewer rods that are 8mm in diameter which break if used to push litter like stones.
He said there is need for vacuum machines which take time to acquire because the City of Harare only has 2.