Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
Gweru City Council has come under the spotlight for allegedly discharging raw sewage into Gweru River.
The local authority’s actions are endangering residents, aqua life and other communities in Matobo where the river flows.
The Herald understands that the city’s two treatment plants Outfall and Kamprisha are only removing solids from the waste before discharging raw sewage water into Gweru River, which is the main source of water for villagers in Lower Gweru.
Environment watchdog, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) once revealed that Gweru City Council was discharging about 30 megalitres of raw sewer effluent into Gweru River.
Tests done by EMA revealed that the effluent which the local authority was discharging into Gweru River was untreated.
Gweru Mayor Councillor Josiah Makombe could neither deny nor confirm the allegations.
“Well we have problems with our sewer treatment plants. We once got assistance from our German partners GIZ to fix our sewer and water reticulation systems. We have fixed our water systems and now we are moving on to the sewer treatment plants.
“What has been happening is that we have been directing our effluent to our Go beer farm. So probably the incessant rains that we received in the past few weeks as a result of cyclone Idai might have caused the overflowing of the sewer ponds and the raw effluent went into Gweru River,” he said.
EMA has in the past six years taken the local authority to court for discharging raw sewer effluent into water bodies.
In 2011 council came under fire from Vungu Rural District councillors who accused Gweru of deliberately letting raw sewage flow into Gweru River which was posing a health risk to villagers and animals in Lower Gweru.
The Vungu councilors argued that some villagers in Lower Gweru were developing skin problems after coming in contact with waste water.