The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) director-general, Mutsa Chasi, has condemned Harare City Councils Pomona dump sites as posing a serious health hazard to residents.
Council has also failed to register under the EMA regulations.
Chasi made the remarks on Tuesday when she appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Rural and Urban Development.
The committee is chaired by Chimanimani West MP, Lynette Karenyi.
Chasi said EMA regulations demanded that all dump sites be registered to enable the authority to carry out regular inspections and curb cases of pollution and other related health hazards.
Everyone who pollutes the environment should get a licence, but some dump sites in Harare, like Pomona, have not been registered and each year that dump site is set alight and emits polluted gases that cause asthma and wheezing, she said.
A lot of people have been dumping batteries and hazardous waste and when it rains that waste goes into ground water, yet people in Harare are drilling boreholes and it is not safe for them because that waste would have gone underground.
Chasi also told the committee it was not proper for Harare water to be cleaned with 13 chemicals as the chemicals were detrimental to peoples health.
Everything that we flush in our toilets in Harare should go to sewage plants and not into Manyame River or Lake Chivero.
It is supposed to be let into rivers after attaining certain levels of cleanliness. In Uganda, they only use three chemicals to clean water and we can also do that if we followed the correct procedures, she said.
She said a lot of illegal dumping sites had also mushroomed and even if some local authorities were issued with heavy penalties, they continued to practice unhealthy methods of waste disposal.
Burst sewers, sometimes as close as 100 metres from peoples houses are not being repaired. Some people end up using the sewage as natural irrigation and fertiliser for their maize and vegetables.
It is very hazardous and poisonous to eat such crops as sewer water is only good for pasture, she said.
Chasi said disposable diapers were also becoming a health hazard as people were using incorrect methods to dispose of them.
The manufacturers of these pampers should be tasked with collecting them to dispose of them, she said.