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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Bindura charged for discharging effluent into Mazowe River

Story by Tapiwa Machemedze

BINDURA Municipality has been fined US$5 000 for discharging effluent into Pote River after an outcry from affected residents, mostly from Shamva District.

Shamva residents are living in fear of a cholera outbreak after the discharge of effluent into the Pote River.

One of the residents said, “We have three to four days observing this water flowing. I stay in Bindura Ward 8 we have a problem of sewage flowing into the river, so we are afraid now because people use this water for drinking washing and cooking.”

“We are seeing in our river Pote the water has turned green and yet we hear of cholera outbreaks, so we are calling for government to intervene by cleaning our water,” said another resident.

Shamva South legislator, Honourable Joseph Mapiki said the leakage from Bindura’s sewer ponds raised alarm in the mining town.

He said, “When we were in Shamva people were taking water from Mazowe River, so people had a problem as they smelt sewage and because of cholera they tasked us to investigate. So we followed Pote river and saw sewage spilling from Bindura municipality ponds spilling into Pote and subsequently Mazowe since the two rivers converge. So, we are calling for intervention from all departments concerned with public health.”

Environmental Management Agency Mashonaland Central spokesperson, Maxwell Mupotsa confirmed reports of effluent discharge, with the authority directing Bindura town to rectify the issue.

“We have since gone for an inspection and we cautioned the Bindura municipality and ordered them to rectify the situation where the pump that was working there at the sewage pump was not functioning very well. We have since ordered them to fix it and we have engaged them and the situation is now under control. There is no direct discharge of effluent into the river,” he said.

Bindura Municipality is however contesting the punitive fine, adding the discharge was treated water.

The council added the green water colour was caused by excessive algae resulting from the current rains. The local authority is in the process of conducting laboratory tests of the effluent to prove its innocence.

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