By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE Environmental Management Authority (EMA) has expressed concern over the continued discharge of raw sewerage into the environment by the Bulawayo City Council.
The environmental management body said since 2011, it has issued the local authority with 34 orders and five tickets for flouting environment management laws.
“In 2010, a docket was opened at ZRP Queens Park for the burst sewer pipes in Kingsdale over Umguza River that had been discharging effluent for two years. The local authority repaired the then broken sewer pipes,” said EMA in a letter while responding to a petition by the Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR).
“In 2011, 25 orders, four tickets and one docket were issued and all were complied with.
“From 2013 to 2017, a total of nine orders and one ticket were issued. Currently, there are two dockets which were opened in 2019 that are still pending.”
EMA cited Sauertown deep section and Silver Crescent in Kelvin West as the major problematic spots.
MIHR recently lobbied EMA to take legal action against the local authority for failure to timeously repair sewer pipes and collect waste in residential areas.
For the past weeks, the local authority has not been collecting rubbish in the city due to several challenges including the recently ended strike by council workers.
Because of failure by the local authority to collect refuse, heaps of garbage have been piling up in open spaces in some areas as residents and businesses resort to dumping solid waste in undesignated areas posing a serious health hazard particularly in the light of Covid-19.
EMA also noted that some of the cases were still before the courts.
Currently, the local authority is implementing major rehabilitation works on its water and sewer system under the Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services improvement Project (BWSSIP) funded by the African Development Bank.