Mbire MP Paul Mazikana yesterday told Parliament that visitors to Chitungwiza should be warned the town was sewer infested.
He said this after the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism visited the town and found raw sewerage spilling into Manyame River and Nyatsime River, a tributary to Lake Chivero where Chitungwiza gets its water.
Appearing before the committee, Chitungwiza acting Town Clerk Fungai Mbetsa yesterday said the problem was caused by the breakdown of the 30-year-old treatment plant and the rising population in the town which had gone up to 1,5 million people.
Director of Works in Chitungwiza Town Council Alfonse Tinofa, who also appeared before the committee, revealed the council needed $6,5 million to replace 21 pumps, which he said were affected by too much sand finding its way into the system through women using it to “scrub pots”.
“Our treatment plant is not functional as it broke down some time back, but we have been given funds through the African Development Bank to assist repair the system,” Mbetsa said.
“We have tried to remove refuse dumps and litter, but have been constrained by lack of equipment, and unfortunately for Chitungwiza, there are a lot of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and these include the Vapostori sect and a lot of people trying to eke out a living through small factories and tuck shops.”
Mbetsa said wrong equipment had been purchased from China to repair the pump station at St Marys, but now the right pumps had been bought and repairs would begin soon.
Mbetsa said only nine out of 22 refuse collection trucks were functional and a front end loader was needed to remove waste.