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Fears of another Bulawayo diarrhoea outbreak

by Staff reporter
28 Mar 2021 at 15:25hrs | Views
BULAWAYO residents have expressed fear that Zimbabwe's second largest city could be hit by another outbreak of diarrhoea due to the municipality's failure to attend to sewer blockages.

Speaking during a World Water Day meeting hosted by the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) at the weekend, secretary for water Joseph Nkomazana said there was an increasing incidence of daily sewer blockages in all 29 wards in the city.

"Everyday there is a sewer blockage and we no longer know what's happening. We once lost residents in Luveve to diarrhoea and if these sewers blockages go unattended, we might experience the same problem. All the 29 suburbs are talking about the sewer blockages. Last week I was talking to residents in Makokoba. They are all facing the same problem," said Nkomazana.

The BPRA  accused the Bulawayo City Council of failing to respond promptly to the sewer bursts report, exposing residents to health risks.

"We are advised to report challenges at call centres, but no one responds. We cannot go in person to the municipality offices and flock to report service delivery issues," he said.

In response to the queries, Bulawayo senior public relations officer Nesisa Mpofu conceded that the municipality had been overwhelmed by the problem. She attributed the sewer blockages to old infrastructure.

She said in the majority of cases the local authority fails to attend to the bursts due to lack of resources or manpower shortages.

"Our challenge is the ageing infrastructure and occasionally we do have problems with input, for instance, these last two-three weeks we had challenges with fuel and we slowed down in terms of our responsiveness… our backlog when it comes to sewer blockages within the city itself is about 185. We get over 50 reports daily which we have to clear," said Mpofu.

Despite the slow response of the municipality to sewer bursts, Mpofu encouraged residents to use the city's WhatsApp platform to report service delivery issues.

 "BCC does have a WhatsApp number that you can send your message to, some people even send their reports through social media, through our website," she said.

Source - dailynews