Police officers living under disgusting conditions at Bulawayo’s Ross Camp

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By Staff Reporter

OFFICERS at Zimbabwe’s largest police camp, Ross Camp in Bulawayo are living in fear of a health disaster due to a broken-down sewer reticulation system that has resulted in free-flowing sewerage all over the place.

Some of the toilets that have since broken down were built in the Rhodesian era.

Police officers who spoke to on condition of anonymity said they were living in fear that children will contract waterborne diseases such as cholera or typhoid from the free-flowing filth.

“It is not like we do not complain. We do but the police force does not have money. I think such things are always at the bottom of their to-do list.

“Our worry now is that our children, some of whom do not even know the danger associated with sewer, will contract diseases,” said a police Sergeant at the camp whose family of four shares a four roomed house with another in what are known as ‘MaBlocks.’ .

“If you go around the camp you might catch some of them splashing each other in sewer water or jumping across the numerous streams for fun.”

The ‘Three-Rooms’ area is where most of the sewer flows.

Some parts of the section had toilets built for each house but resource constraints as the economy worsened resulted in the programme being halted.

Broken and dirty toilet seats filled with human excreta characterise the rest rooms that now have a few taps working.

Most of the pipes are now clogged with sewerage welling up everywhere while floors are no longer visible.

“These sewer pipes are now old. These public toilets were built during the colonial era before even Ian Smith took over. They were not meant to service the number of people who are staying here.

“Houses meant for a single family are being divided to accommodate the growing number of police officers but no investment is being put towards developing the toilets,” added another officer.

“At least if we are to continue using public toilets can they not be of a reasonable and acceptable standard.”

Ross Camp houses hundreds of police officers from Bulawayo’s numerous stations and their families.

Accommodation problems within the force have seen areas and sections previously reserved for bachelors being used by families sometimes of up to four people.