… as typhoid leaves one dead

Lovemore Lubinda

Residents in Harare’s populous suburb of Mbare are up in arms with the local authority over poor waste management, saying that contributed to the poor drainage that caused floods and typhoid outbreak recently.

The suburb was hit by floods recently, with water getting into the houses rendering them uninhabitable as clothes and blankets got wet.

Some complained of experiencing electrical shock and could not use their gadgets like televisions, radios, fridge, stoves and others.

They blamed the local authority for failing to clear garbage in time, resulting in it finding its way into the drainage system blocking it in the process. They say poor waste management especially during the rainy seasons can lead to cases of cholera and typhoid.

zwnews.com recently, took it into the location to access the extent of the disturbance caused. The situation looked bad with flood water and sewage running down the streets and corridors.

Pumuzile Madewu of National one of the affected told our news crew that as residents, they put the blame to the local authority, for failing to repair burst sewer pipes and carry away refuse in time.

“It is sad that we lost a life because of typhoid, the local authority should be held accountable to that. If they had maintained cleanliness the drains could have managed to clear the runoff,” she said.

Another resident Mai Mucha complained that the cases of burst sewer pipes had caused living in the location an unhappy experience; she blames all this to poor waste management and dilapidated infrastructure.

“Besides the issue of the rains, generally the sewer infrastructure in the whole suburb needs to be replaced. If you visit Matapi Flats, Nenyere Flats, Matererini Flats you can see it for yourselves, sewage pipes are very old and rusted. You can even see sewages running down the walls,” she said.

The issue of sewage flowing from burst pipes had been a perennial problem for Mbare. Sometimes the effluent could be flowing down fallows, with children playing with it; amid filthy surroundings.

Ward councillor 3 Councillor Innocent Maseko once spoke to this news crew in an interview before the incident, saying it is true that the area face burst sewage pipe problems, and urged residents to report such issues.

He conceded to the authority’s shortcomings and said he was engaging the Director of Works over the matter.

“If we continue working like this then we are not going anywhere as far as improving services is concerned. The rain season is upon us, and we have to roll up our sleeves,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to the Harare Residents Trust (HRT) the officials in the city’s waste management department need to be serious on waste management.

HRT says the officials are sleeping on duty, the mentality they should change as poor waste management had been known to have caused safety and health problems.

City of Harare had been struggling with waste management for years. At various occasions the local authority had been arraigned before the Environmental Management Agency and fined for failing to dispose waste properly. It has also been charged for releasing raw sewage in water bodies like Mukuvisi River.

The sewage had over the years find its way into Lake Chivero Harare’s source of drinking water, making the treatment of water more expensive as more chemicals are needed.