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Sewer system collapses

by Staff reporter
10 Apr 2020 at 08:01hrs | Views
A health hazard is looming in most high density suburbs of Gweru City following the collapse of the sewer reticulation system.

The development has seen raw sewage flowing down the streets of suburbs such as Mtapa, Mambo, Senga and Mkoba.

A survey by this publication recently showed that even in low density suburbs such as Athlone, raw sewage is seen flowing in the streets. The city fathers have said the sewer reticulation system needs a complete overhaul.

Residents in both high and low density suburbs have blasted the local authority which they say has misplaced priorities which was compromising service delivery.

"A health hazard is looming here because of the raw sewage flowing from burst pipes. It seems council workers are overwhelmed by the increased cases of burst pipes hence some burst pipes go for days without being attended to. The whole system just needs an overhaul because these pipes are too old," said Mr Mark Sibanda from Athlone suburb.

Mkoba Village Two residents said their children were now used to jumping over raw sewage to cross the streets.

"This problem has been with us for years thereby putting our lives and that of our children at risk of contracting waterborne diseases such as cholera. We are calling on the Government to intervene because council has failed to address this problem," said Mrs Agatha Mamombe.

She said Gweru was one of the towns hard hit by the 2018 typhoid outbreak and there are fears of another outbreak because of the problem of burst sewer pipes.

"When we see this raw sewer flowing, we are reminded of the typhoid outbreak which killed many people here," said Mrs Mamombe.

Speaking during a recent full council meeting, deputy mayor, councillor Cleopas Shiri said the sewer reticulation system had outlived its lifespan.

Cllr Shiri said the system had collapsed and therefore needs a complete overhaul which involves replacing the old pipes among other works.

"We have blocked sewer pipes that are bursting and residents are subjected to a pungent smell in most high density suburbs which is not good," said Cllr Shiri.

Deputy city engineer, Praymore Mhlanga confirmed the collapse of the sewer system and said his department was working hard to address the problem.

"We are working on overhauling the entire sewer reticulation system but we are constrained by shortage of resources. We are as a result working in phases as we get the required materials," he said.

Council has said it needs more than $40 million to rehabilitate the sewer reticulation system which involves upgrading the two treatment plants at Cambridgeshire as well as the seven pump stations. The system which was meant to cater for a small working population in few suburbs in the 1950s, now services more than 30 000 properties and more than 200 000 residents as the city continues to expand.

In 2018, a typhoid outbreak hit the city killing eight people and infecting more than 2 000 . Investigations by council revealed that drinking water was contaminated by raw sewage which has been blamed on the sewer reticulation system which has collapsed.

Source - chroncile