HARARE City Council is releasing raw sewerage into rivers that feed the capital’s water sources, a report recently presented to Parliament has claimed.
The report also painted a picture of lawlessness in the capital and Chitungwiza where structures were being built on wetlands, marshlands, and water-ways as well as below electricity pylons.
“Sewage pump stations in Chisipite, Avonlea, Borrowdale Brooke and Budiriro are currently not working and are located adjacent to rivers. The raw sewage is discharged into river channels instead of being transmitted to treatment plants,” reads part of the Natural Resources and Environment on Waste Disposal and Management in Harare and Chitungwiza.
The report said Harare was struggling to provide water to its residents as its infrastructure was designed for 250,000 people only instead of over the current estimates of 2.5 million which is ten times its carrying capacity. A new design with a carrying capacity of 4 million was said to be in the pipeline.
In addition, satellite towns such as Chitungwiza, Ruwa and Norton were not contributing to Harare’s water treatment costs but the capital cannot disconnect them because this could trigger outbreaks of cholera and typhoid.
The report further claimed that a Chinese firm mining diamonds in Marange, Anjin, was building a the Anjin Multi-purpose Centre that includes a hotel on wetlands in Harare, despite submissions by the Environmental Management Authority that environmental laws were not being observed in that project.
MPs also expressed concern over Chitungwiza saying: “Chitungwiza residents built their houses on improperly planned places like on water ways and marsh lands.
“All of these uncontrolled housing developments that closed all open spaces meant for schools, marshy lands and for aeration of the community space were unfortunately authorized by the municipality.
“A report on houses built on improperly planned places was prepared and the conditions to implement the recommendations are now in place. Rectification would be done where houses are built along roads, over sewage pipes or directly below electricity pylons.”