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Gweru fined $1m for pollution

by Staff reporter
07 Jan 2021 at 08:20hrs | Views
GWERU City Council has been fined over $1 million by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) for discharging raw effluent into nearby streams, a senior council official revealed last week.

Presenting a 2020 end of year report on the state of the city, mayor Josiah Makombe said the raw sewage polluting nearby streams and rivers was not only affecting residents but heavily costing council in terms of EMA penalties.

"My council notes with great concern the rate of sewer blockages sprouting citywide," he said.

"As much as this is affecting residents, it is also costing council in terms of penalties from EMA, as we have already been fined $1 054 345 for pollution for the month of December 2020."

Makombe urged residents to desist from dumping litter in storm drains, saying this was largely contributing to the increased blockages.

The Midlands capital has been relying on obsolete sewer reticulation infrastructure.

Last year, Makombe said the local authority would this year prioritise the refurbishment of water and sanitation equipment.

But Gweru United Progressive Residents and Ratepayers Development Association Trust executive director David Chikore blamed council for failing to replace archaic sewer infrastructure, part of which was installed before independence.

"It is unfortunate that we have equipment some as old as 40 years and yet city fathers continue with their rhetoric on the need to replace the infrastructure," he said.

"When you have raw sewage flowing onto the streets and polluting water bodies, you risk the health of residents and penalties alone from authorities are not the lasting solution. Council should also walk the talk and replace this out-dated sewer system."

In recent years, there have been outbreaks of fatal waterborne diseases in the city.

Source - newsday

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