Polluting companies face closure

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HUNDREDS of companies in Harare and Bulawayo guilty of polluting the environment will be shut down if they fail to adhere to standards set by government.

MOSES MATENGA

Speaking to journalists during an inter-ministerial Cabinet committee meeting on water pollution yesterday, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo said government would assist the Environmental Management Agency [EMA] close errant companies that fail to curb pollution.

“All companies will comply and those that do not, we will support EMA action to close them. We will guarantee that they comply in six weeks. This is not business as usual, but we want to make sure the environment is cleaned up,” Chombo said.

EMA director of environmental protection Petronella Shoko pointed out that the Environment Management Act allowed government to close companies that failed to comply with its provisions.

Chombo said it had been established that service stations, premises of transport operators, garages and car repair workshops were discharging oil, grease and silt into the environment, thereby polluting underground water.

“Such pollutants also end up in sewer reticulation systems, causing corrosion and consequently pipe leakages and bursts,” he said.

Chombo said as a remedial measure, all service stations should by June 30 install oil/silt interceptors on their premises.

“Tanneries discharge heavy and poisonous metals and chemicals such as arsenic, chlorium, sodium chloride, organic solids, dyes and paints. These are harmful to human, animal and aquatic life when discharged directly into the environment,” he said.

“Consequently, such companies are under instruction to immediately stop operating and resume when they have repaired or erected approved pre-treatment plants.”

Other companies mentioned as polluting water and the environment were funeral parlours, abattoirs, food outlets, beverage producers and chemical producing firms.

Chombo added that the mushrooming of unplanned settlements in urban areas had resulted in the adoption of alternative sanitation technologies like pit latrines which have “adverse effects of polluting underground water”.

“As a result of erratic water supplies by local authorities, the urban populace has been relying on shallow wells as their source of water — albeit heavily contaminated,” Chombo said.

He said Bulawayo was discharging raw sewage into water bodies, but efforts were being made to address that.

7 COMMENTS

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  1. Vana Chombo ndevekungotaura chete. Ko iyo corruption yavo vanenge vasiya nani?
    Tinoziva chose kuti MADZAKUTSAKU ndiwo anonyanya kuzhambatata nokungohumana
    zvisina basa kuti vanzwike asi pasina zvavarikuita. They are gold diggers,political turn coats working hard to enrich themselves without due care to the people. Opportunists,your days are
    numbered & you are well known.

  2. I think Kasukuwere is the relevant minister to comment on issues of the environment. This chombo is irrelevant even to his ministry. Shut up chombo. You’re just as useless as your 90 year old boss.

  3. Lets SAVE mother earth when the oportnty iz ther. Compnyz shld be seen to b doing somthng instead of coming up with endless strategies on making MONEY only

  4. Was Kasukuwere as the Minister of Environment not available to read that prepared speech. It is very ironic that the Minister who oversees local councils’ actions and is responsible for the mushrooming of houses and unplanned for backyard industries should stand there and tell us about pollution.

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