‘Bulawayo sewer outbursts partly self-inflicted’-BCC Engineer

By ZBC Reporter

BULAWAYO’s sewer pipe bursts could be far from over, with the infrastructure under siege from some residents who are blocking the system to harvest wastewater for irrigation purposes.

The recent typhoid outbreak in Luveve has put the City of Bulawayo’s water and sanitation challenges under the spotlight.

While there have been attempts to address the situation, it has since emerged that there seems to be no solution in sight with residents of Emakhandeni saying they are living in fear in the wake of continuous sewer outbursts in the area.

However, Bulawayo City Council Director -Engineering Services, Simela Dube says some of the sewer outbursts are self-inflicted with some residents blocking the sewer system for wastewater irrigation purposes.

“As a city, we have witnessed an unprecedented attack on sewer infrastructure by those doing market gardening. We are implementing the Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP) where we are changing sewer manhole lids with lockable ones; however such exercises mean more costs to ratepayers. Hence there is a need for the public to be engaged on the problem.”

A snap survey by ZBC News revealed that human-initiated sewer blockages are prevalent in western suburbs like Nketa, Nkulumane and Emakhandeni.

The gastrointestinal disease outbreak on Bulawayo affected over 1 700 people last month. Over thirteen deaths were recorded in one of Bulawayo’s high-density suburbs, Luveve.