3 000 Marondera pupils at risk of diseases

More than 3 000 students at Rakodzi High and Tapfuma Primary School are at risk of contracting diseases as raw effluent is discharged into water system from a blocked sewer pipe.

by Jairos Saunyama

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has since given the Marondera municipality an ultimatum to fix the sewage problem by yesterday, failure of which the two schools would close.

A report by the Mashonaland East provincial medical director Simukai Zizhou said Marondera should act fast to arrest the problem.

“The following recommendations and timelines were drawn to protect the health of the 3 050 school children, staff and community around,” Zizhou said.

“. . . That the main sewer blockage be unblocked and dislodged by the Marondera Municipality by Friday 20th February 2015. The most serious issue at stake is the presence of sewage spillage as pointed above. It has been satisfied that Marondera Municipality is the author of the nuisance described.”

On Monday, a delegation from the ministries of Health and Primary and Secondary Education as well as the Marondera municipality visited the schools to assess the problem which was also affecting residents in Yellow City, Rujeko and Chitepo housing extension.

Raw sewage is being discharged from the main hole situated along the line which runs from Dombotombo suburb to Dombotombo pump station, passing through the school yard.

The greater part of the school grounds have become submerged in raw sewage.

This is not the first time Rakodzi High School has been affected by sewage problems as it was once closed after experiencing the similar challenges.

Marondera, which currently does not have a functioning sewage treatment plant, has been battling sewage problems with raw effluent flowing in the streets of the town.

The town’s only sewage treatment plant at Elmswood stopped functioning more than five years ago.

Rakodzi High School has 1 050 students, while Tapfuma Primary School enrols 2 000 pupils.

By yesterday, the local authority had diverted the sewage flow into the nearby stream to prevent it from further flowing into the school yards.

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