Population booms, sewage system collapses

Residents of St Mary’s have resorted to relieving themselves innearby bushes as the sewage system buckles under a rapidly growing population.

“We have resorted to these inhumane methods of relieving ourselves since our sewage system is not working. We have been living like this for the past three years,” said a local woman.

With blocked sewers, residents are concerned that they their health and hygiene is being compromised. Children play in the streets where raw sewage from broken sewer pipes has spilled over.

“It is by God’s grace that our children have not contracted diseases since they are always playing close to the sewage,” said another local.

A vendor at Huruyadzo Shopping Centre said that a supermarket which used to operate at the business point was forced to shut down after raw sewage flowed into the shop.

The residents accuse Chitungwiza municipality of doing nothing to rectify the problem, despite repeated complaints.

“The municipality knows about our plight and every time we go to complain, they make empty promises. In fact, they have told us to construct our own Blair toilets,” said Chitindo.

The Zimbabwean could not get a comment from the local councillor, but an official from Chitungwiza municipality said St Mary’s was one of the oldest and poorest suburbs, whose sewer system was overwhelmed by a fast growing population.

“The sewer pipes were installed many decades ago and we are failing to replace them because there is no money. Residents are not paying their bills and we have since applied for financial assistance from our parent ministry, the Ministry of Local Government (and Urban Development). However, we have not heard from them,” he said.

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