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Bulawayo councillors frets over recurrent sewer pipe bursts

by Staff reporter
11 Sep 2020 at 07:22hrs | Views
BULAWAYO councillors have appealed for central government intervention into the recurrent sewer pipe bursts which have been blamed on lack of adequate water to flush the sludge.

Debating the issue during a recent full council meeting, city fathers expressed concern that some of the raw effluent was flowing into residents' homes, posing a health hazard.

"Councillor Donaldson Mabuto (ward 9) confirmed that there was a serious sewer crisis within the city. Sludge was not moving in the system because of lack of water. There was a need for government intervention," part of the minutes read.

Mabutho implored council to continue pushing government to address the city's water crisis.

"Residents were getting water from a bowser which was not enough to flush the system. Government had promised that within three months the city would have sufficient water but to date the city remained in serious crisis."

Responding to the councillors remarks, the chairperson of the water and sanitation committee, Alderman Ernest Rafomoyo said the department was short-staffed and more plumbers would be deployed.

"More water was needed to move the sewer because 75% of water consumed was used on sewer. There was also a challenge in terms of equipment. Council should appeal to the donor community for assistance. Council was not able to provide the chemical for disinfecting the sewer because of lack of funds," the minutes read.

The concerns came shortly after the city was hit by a diarrhoea outbreak which claimed 13 lives and infected over 2 000 others. The outbreak was blamed on contaminated water with some areas recording incidents of raw sewer spilling into the water reticulation system.

Councillor Sinikiwe Mutanda (ward 10) said most of the burst pipes were not being attended to on time after being reported.

"Most of the sewer ended up flowing into people's houses. Councillor Lilian Mlilo concurred and said that ward 14 had similar problems," part of the council minutes read.

"Councillor Mzamo Dube (ward 26) said there was a need to educate residents not to deposit items into the system which contributed to sewer blockages. Alderman Clayton Zana (ward 19) said the issue of sewer in the city had become a concern."

"Councillor Tawanda Ruzive felt that as a Council there was need to prioritise sewer bursts. He said that in his ward 6, there was a pipe which was emitting raw sewer into the storm drains," the minutes read.

"Councillor Silas Chigora (ward 4) said that councillors should come up with solutions on how to solve the sewer problems. At one time the issue of a local plumber had been suggested, but was not taken up."

Source - newsday

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