BY SILAS NKALA
THE Hwange Local Board (HLB) has been left baffled by the theft of sewer system manhole cast iron lids in the mining town, with authorities saying this was causing an increase in sewer blockages.
Hwange town secretary Ndumiso Mdlalose was quoted in the latest council minutes saying theft of the lids exposed residents to air pollution.
“As council, we are very much concerned about the rise in cases of cast iron manhole covers theft. The theft of covers increases the rate of sewer blockages as large volumes of foreign objects easily find their way into manholes,” Mdlalose said.
He said theft of cast iron covers also leaves communities susceptible to health hazards.
“Theft of these manhole covers leads to health hazard outbreaks such as cholera. Young children or adults and animals might also fall into these holes,” he said.
“Apart from sewer overflows another form of environmental pollution is in the form of air pollution due to the ever-presence of unpleasant stench.”
“It’s alleged that the high demand for scrap metal in the country is the one contributing to the spate of manhole covers theft. It is believed these manhole covers fetch a good price due to their heavy weight,” said Mdlalose.
He added that the council was now resorting to concrete slabs as manhole covers to avert further losses.
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