City of Harare is replacing sewer pipes in various suburbs as part of its waste water infrastructure rehabilitation program.
The waste water pipes replacement program is coming as good news to residents who have been exposed to sewer pipe bursts over the past decade. Health hazards such as the recent typhoid outbreak which started in Mbare have also been attributed to burst sewer pipes which deposited raw affluent into residents’ boreholes.
Harare’s Corporate Communications Manager Michael Chideme told Harare News that the sewer pipes replacement program which is meant to cover the whole city has so far reached Gunhill, Highfields, Kambuzuma, and Msasa.
“This program was prompted by the persistent bursts (of sewer pipes) and council is funding the program. We will cover as many metres as there are bursts,” said Chideme.
Other suburbs such as Mufakose have also embarked on their own sewer pipe replacement programs after experiencing sewer problems. Councillor for Ward 34 (Mufakose) Moffat Alisen said that they had managed to connect the suburb’s sewer line to the Crowborough Sewerage Plant.
“We covered 7km to connect houses in my ward to Crowborough Sewer Plant. Some houses have been experiencing sewer problems for the past 20years. Funding for the project came from the 10% retention scheme as well as council resources. We did the project over two years and we are now left with testing,” said Alisen.
Some residents in Harare have welcomed council’s efforts saying that the elimination of sewer pipe bursts will lead to a reduction in water borne diseases which have been occurring consistently over the past five years. Nhamo Mabvuwa (29) from Mbare commended council for finally doing its work.
“It is good that council is finally doing something positive. Our sewer system is now out-dated and in critical need of repairs. I just hope that the program will cover the whole City as we are tired of cholera and typhoid outbreaks,” said Mabvuwa.
However, other residents are not satisfied at the rate at which council is doing its job. Idah Soko (32) from Glen View said that council should speed up its sewer pipe replacement efforts as the program was now long overdue.
“As residents we appreciate council’s efforts, but I believe that council should speed up its efforts because the project is a matter of life and death. It is sad that people continue to lose their lives due to water borne diseases which can partly be attributed to burst sewer pipes,” said Soko.
A recent surveyby the Ministry of Health indicated that 95% of boreholes in low density areas were contaminated and it is hoped that council will be able to address the sewer pipe bursts in order to reduce underground water contamination by raw sewage.