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Burst pipes, uncollected garbage; Chitungwiza faces health time bomb

Burst sewer pipes, uncollected garbage; Chitungwiza faces health time bomb

By Philemon Jambaya

A health time bomb is ticking in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza where sewer burst pipes and uncollected garbage are now the order of the day, at street corners and at shopping centres.

A survey done by this publication established that residents are risk of contracting diseases such as cholera, typhoid and diarrhoea.

Residents complained that, when town authorities do attend to sewer bursts, it would have been after a gallant struggle.

They said, despite raw sewer oozing directly from their houses, sewer attendees demand kickbacks to attend to problem when requested to.

“In December I reported a sewer burst but the town authorities took almost one week to attend to the problem despite how exposed my family was to diseases,” said a Manyame Park 4 resident who requested not to be named for fear of reprisal.

For the past four years raw sewage has been part of Manyame Park phase 4 opposite Light House College.

Manyame Park residents say council has struggled to come up with a lasting solution to the issue.

Despite Manyame Park phase 4, nearly every neighbourhood in the dormitory town has burst sewer pipes.

In a town which usually receives water once every week, the sewer burst situation increases when water returns.

“When we see sewage in the streets we smile because we will be having tap water at home,” said Tapiwa Mashanda of Zengeza 2.

The survey also exposed that the dormitory town is in a bad shape when it comes to garbage collection as well.

Heaps of uncollected garbage at are visible at Chigovanyika Shops, Huruyadzo Shops, Zengeza 2 shopping center, Zengeza 5 shops, with a locked public toilet, and at Unit H shops among other centres.

“It is the Councils duty to collect garbage, we cannot have a situation of leaving with piles of garbage while the local authority is there, we want to live in a clean environment,” said Alice Kuveya the Director of Chitungwiza Residents Trust ( CHITREST).

Chitungwiza Council say their failure to collect garbage revolves around alleged shortage of diesel to execute their duties.
However, some residents maintain the council has misplaced priorities.

“The council has so many misplaced priorities they tell you that they do not have diesel to collect garbage but you see their towing cars all over Chitungwiza sometimes you see the service trucks being drained diesel which is resold on the black market,” said Taurai Tapera of Unit N Chitungwiza.

Reached for comment Chitungwiza Mayor Lovemore Maiko said the delay in collecting garbage is caused bydelay in acquiring fuel and some residents were now dumping their garbage at shopping centres and street corners instead of waiting for it to be collected.

“Refuse collection in all shopping centres must be done on time so as to keep our environment clean however the delays we encounter are usually caused by fuel shortages as you are aware as a council we have to wait for fuel that is sold in RTGS when all of the service stations around town are selling their fuel in USDs this normally causes a setback as supplies of fuel in RTGS may not be available from would be suppliers,” Maiko said.

“Another thing is that we have also observed that our residents are now taking their refuse to shopping centres such as Zengeza 2 shops instead of waiting for a routine collection which is done in the residential areas,” he continued.

He also said that the issue of water waste management was a fundamental problem for the town.

“The issue of wastewater management is weighing heavily on the council,” he said.

“The delays are not deliberate but you will note that our sewer network system is now dilapidated across the town especially during this rainy season. Sewer burst pipes are all over the town and our team do their best to attend even though they will be stretched. Our hope is the Zimfund 3 program will help ease the problems as the program seeks to attend to all sewer hotspots so as to mitigate consistent sewer bursts. Another issue is that we hope our water supply will improve as wastewater and water supply work hand in glove,” he said.

Burst pipes, uncollected garbage; Chitungwiza faces health time bomb