Residents have condemned the murky water supplied by the Bulawayo City Council and the persistent bursts of sewer pipes in the central business district and in the city’s high density suburbs.
Residents expressed their dismay during a public interface meeting which was conducted by Women’s institute for leadership Development on Thursday.
Sharing the challenges that women in her ward face with regards to access to water and sewer services, Margaret Sibanda noted that persistent sewer blockages have become a health hazard.
“The incessant sewer bursts are a health hazard to the residents and the local authority should attend to these issues before residents are exposed to a health crisis,” said Sibanda.
Khethiwe Jele who resides in Ward 8 highlighted that council has a poor response mechanisms as sewer blockages often go for long periods without being attended to.
“In ward 8, sewer bursts go for long periods of time without being addressed. In some instances, the poor sewer reticulation has led to toilet blockages within our houses,” she noted.
During the interface meeting, the following factors were identified as major contributors to water and sewer reticulation challenges and these include old sewer pipes, the infrastructure was constructed to cater for a lower population, mismanagement of council finances and failure by the citizenry to pay for the service rendered.
Speaking during the interface meeting, Councilor Shadreck Sibanda highlighted that population growth is a major factor contributing to these constant sewer bursts as the infrastructure does not have the capacity for the current population.
“Sewer bursts are a big challenge. The infrastructure and sewer system is now very old leading to these constant sewer bursts,” she said.
Ward 25 Councillor Mzamo Dube cited that the brownish colour could be due to rust or mud from repairs in the reticulation system. He encouraged residents to allow the water to run until it clears before consumption.
Thembelihle Sibanda encouraged residents to take precautions such as boiling water before consumption so as to lower the risk of contracting water borne diseases.
Another resident, Sibongile Mangena from Lobengula West noted that water pipes bursts which take too long to be repaired lead to increased water wastages at a time when the city’s water reserves are running low.
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