Climate Community Development Health

Town status seeking Chinhoyi council polluting water body

Chinhoyi Municipality

By Elvis Dumba

Chinhoyi – The Municipality of Chinhoyi which is aiming to be accorded city status is being accused of polluting Manyame River, a tributary of the mighty Zambezi River, in a move seen by analysts as dealing itself a major blow in its quest to be elevated.

The Mashonaland West Provincial Town is reported to be discharging at least eight megaliters of raw sewer into the river with various calls for corrective action by Environmental Management Agency and other stakeholders falling on deaf ears.

The Municipal sewer pumps are down resulting in the raw sewer which also includes infectious medical waste from Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital which is near the river being discharged directly into the river exposing the aquatic ecosystem to highly toxic pollutants and endangering communities downstream.

Sewer pump stations such as Mpata and Fernlea pump stations are not properly functioning and are overwhelmed with toxic medicinal affluent from Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital also being discharged directly into Cold Stream River, a tributary of Manyame River whilst Chaedza pump station was removed.

Environmental Management Agency said it is concerned with the Manyame River’s continuous pollution by the local authority.

“We are concerned with the continued discharge of sewer and industrial effluent into Manyame River as the continued pollution of Manyame River by the local authority is in direct contravention of Section 57 (1) as read with Section 70 of Environmental Management Agency Act (chapter 20:27) which prohibits the discharge or application of any poison or toxic, noxious or obstructing matter, radioactive waste or other pollutants into the aquatic environment in contravention of water pollution control standards,” Environment Management Agency Mashonaland West Provincial office said in a statement

Council has so far failed to act on the issue after various penalties and environmental protection orders from the environment watchdog Environmental Management Agency, in 2012, 2015, and 2020.

The river is the city’s water source though they draw the water upstream.

Efforts to get a response from the local authority proved to be fruitless after questions sent to Tichaona Mlauzi, the town’s spokesperson had not been responded to by the time of publishing.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende