The Masvingo City Council will continue to pour raw sewage into the city’s water supplies as long as there are power outages, a senior council official has said.
Residents of the country’s oldest town have expressed concern over the discharge of raw effluent into the city’s water supplies by the local authority posing a serious health hazard to the lives of nearly 100 000 people.
Masvingo mayor Alderman Femias Chakabuda however said the council would keep on discharging raw sewage into the city’s water supplies as long as the city continued experiencing power outages.
“This issue is beyond our control because as long as there are power cuts we have no option but to continue discharging raw sewage into the rivers that in turn feed into Lake Mutirikwi, the city’s sole water supply,” said Chakabuda.
“We have no other means, but we are in the process of purchasing high-powered generators which will be used in case of power outages.”
The mayor dispelled fears that it was a health hazard saying in fact, Masvingo had the cleanest water in the country.
“Our water is the best in the country,” said the mayor. “The little raw sewage we are pouring into the rivers is too insignificant to cause diseases.”
However, due to the continued release of raw sewage into the rivers by the council, water hyacinth has grown in most parts of Lake Mutirikwi threatening aquatic life.
Water hyacinth is a small plant which grows rapidly in water and has the capacity to damage even big dams.
Meanwhile, the Masvingo City Council has secured a R10 million grant to redraw its master plan which expired about five years ago.
A master plan of the city or town is important since it is relied upon heavily for future expansion of the city.
Mayor Chakabuda said the availability of the funds would put to rest the case of several people who invaded farms around the city during the height of farm invasions.
“Our master plan will give us direction since the issue of farm invaders would be dealt with,” said the mayor.