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Zimbabwe poor sewage management

by Mufaro Zibanai | 20-09-2019 20:59 recommendations 0

Zimbabwe failing to deal with sewage. 

The beautiful country located in the southern part of Africa, Zimbabwe is failing to deal with an environmental and health threat of sewage. Sewage is suspension of water and solid waste, transported by sewers to be disposed of or processed. Zimbabwean government and responsible councils are slowly reacting in actioning positively in sewage disposal and treatment measures. 

The Harare city's main reservoir, Lake Chivero is now polluted and the main polluter identified by Environmental Management Agency ( EMA ) is the Harare City Council.  Harare City Council is blamed for discharging raw sewage into the lake . Lake Chivero water used to be blue and clean, now is green and dirty as shown in the insert picture below. Can the fish be safe? Can the water be safe for drinking?  The answers to these questions are big NO it cannot be, we are heading to time whern there will be no fish in the lake. The EMA is more of speaking agency than an action agency since EMA is not taking actions in providing solutions rather than reporting on pollution levels.

Further more the local governments have failed in water supply and sanitation rehabilitation projects miserably. There is rapid urban expansion happening in all towns in Zimbabwe and the growth is way faster than the area infrastructural development and service provisions. These led to residence construct their sub standard septic tanks and latrines which leaks and contaminate underground water. Mostly of these watercourses and septic tanks are close to each other leading to contaminated borehole water. Will we not fall for health problems when we are drinking contaminated water with faecal coliform bacteria?
Sewage bursts is a sign of failure in sewage management.  The then Rhodesian government was responsible for most sewage piping system and these all old piping systems need to be replaced. The council acts slowly when reacting to blockages and bursts which lead to the waste washed away during rains into the wells and rivers leading to health problems such as diarrhoea, cholera and dysentery. 

Can we fold our hands and sit down watching a horror movie of our beautiful country being taken away from us by sewage.  There is need for action that brings change. These are some measures we can take to reduce the problems caused by sewage. 

Councils should engage in massive water reclamation projects. Water reclamation is the process of converting waste water into water that can be reused for other purposes. Discharging of sewage into lakes is a sign of few ponds for reclamation and less usage of recycled water.it is  a huge investment with great environmental benefits such as irrigation and replenishing ground water and surface water. Thus the government had to invest to improve the lives of people through environmental actioning. 

Government has to create environmental audits and more acting agencies. Effective and efficiency organisations create laws and enforce them to deal with less responsive and non environmental concerned behaviours. We need also to adopt foreign policies which are accompanied with heavier fines and organisation being closed when not complying with the environmental laws.

The government need to fund projects such as water supply and sanitation rehabilitation of city councils. Those projects educate the residents with safe environmental practices and also finance to solve the pipe bursts and replace the old pipe systems.  All these lead to a sewage free environment that we all Zimbabweans deserve and desire.

Let us put our hands and heads together to rescue Zimbabwe a country that was known to be a country that flows honey and milk but today it is flowing sewage. Quoting from the former President of Zimbabwe R.G Mugabe last speech in power, " Iwe neni tine basa" me and you have work to do.

  • Zimbabwe Situation (Online source) http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/ema-blames-chivero-pollution-on-councils. 
  • EMA website (online) http://www.ema.co.zw
  • The Herald 19 June 2019 http://www.herald.co.zw/threats-to-underground-water-contamination/
Sewage in the streetsSewage burst pondLake Chivero


  • Zimbabwe Youth Mufaro Zibanai


Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Mufaro

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about Zimbabwe poor sewage management

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 04-10-2019 19:00

  • Hyeongmin Mentor says :
    Hi Mufaro!
    I can see the sewage problem in Zimbabwe is very threatening.
    The photo of young children playing on dirty water makes me really sad.
    Government and industry together should act right now before it becomes too late.
    Hopefully the situation gets better in Zimbabwe.
    Thank you for the great report!

    Posted 22-09-2019 15:48

Arjun Anand

  • Arjun Anand says :
    hello Mufaro,
    Your report has highlighted a serious problem in your country. Sadly, this is happening in many other countries too.
    Sewage water needs to be treated before they are discharged into lakes, river, seas. Unfortunately this is not happening in many countries. It is also important for the youth and citizen to be aware of the impacts and bring these issues in front of the concerned authorities .

    Arjun Anand

    Posted 21-09-2019 04:47

Meena Pandey

  • Meena Pandey says :
    Great report!!!
    Sewage is the major water pollutants.It also bring epidemic disease.
    Due attention should be paid on time.
    Keep writing and shining.
    Warm regards,
    Meena Pandey
    Posted 21-09-2019 00:33

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