PARLIAMENT has recommended that the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and local authorities synchronise laws on disposal of waste by funeral parlours as there was piecemeal legislation from these different sectors.
SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
The First Report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry also revealed during investigative visits by the committee that there was no disposal of pollutants in water bodies by funeral parlours.
Chairperson of the committee, Proportional Representation MP Annastancia Ndhlovu (Zanu PF), who presented the report in the National Assembly on Thursday, said the committee found out that funeral parlours were licensed and inspected by local authorities and EMA and were operating legally.
“Corpses are washed with ordinary detergents or sanitisers and water used during cleaning and preparation of corpses from Nyaradzo Group and Moonlight Funeral Associates is directed into sewer pipes, while liquid waste from Doves Funeral Services is disposed of in septic tanks,” said Ndhlovu.
“The embalming fluid (formaldehyde, methanol and phenol) is injected directly into the arteries of the dead body, and the chemical is very expensive and spillages are minimal, but where they do occur the chemical immediately evaporates into the atmosphere and minute traces that go into waste water are bio-degraded anaerobically to methane, carbon dioxide and water through hydrolysis.”
Seconder of the motion, Proportional Representation MP Consilia Chinanzvavana (MDC-T) said only 500 millilitres of the fluid was used for partial embalming and was injected on a dead body, while full embalming was rare and done in circumstances where a body needed repatriation.
“Solid waste is incinerated by licensed and experienced contractors like Bromar and Byte and at government hospitals and council clinics that have incinerators,” Chinanzvavana said.
Meanwhile, the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation on the preparedness of the Grain Marketing Board, Agricultural Marketing Authority and Agribank for the 2013/2014 summer cropping season noted that efforts to restore the economy to be the bread basket of Africa should prioritise recapitalisation of Agribank to the tune of $50 million.
Chairperson of the committee Mbire MP David Butau (Zanu PF) said during their investigations the committee also noted that the privatisation process of Agribank was slow.
“Maintenance and repairs of silos must be prioritised and the Ministry of Finance avail funds to the tune of $7,6 million. The opportunities of the 2013/2014 agricultural season provided by good rains will be missed due to poor planning and financial limitations,” Butau said.