New sewage plant and dump site for Harare

Harare city council is to build a new sewage plant east of the capital to treat raw sewage from the northern and eastern suburbs. The plant would help create a clean environment to curb outbreaks of diarrheal diseases, said Harare health services director Stanley Mungofa.

Keeping sewage out of the rivers would help curb outbreaks of disease, says Harare health services director Stanley Mungofa.
Keeping sewage out of the rivers would help curb outbreaks of disease, says Harare health services director Stanley Mungofa.

He revealed that the council was also planning a new waste disposal site so that the current Borrowdale Pomona site, which is close to residential areas, could be closed down.

This follows demands from residents that the council should formulate new strategies to deal with the widespread open disposal of nappies and the streams of raw sewage – both a recipe for disease outbreaks, especially during the rainy season.

Responding to questions on the current state of water and sanitation in the capital, Mungofa could not reveal the site and finer detail of the projects.

In a separate telephone interview, council spokesperson Lesley Gwindi would neither confirm nor deny setting up the new sewer treatment plant, but said they were still in consultation about a site for the new dump.

“Most of these projects require huge sums of money and council does not have such resources,” he said.

The plant, if it goes ahead, would be a biological system, using a natural process to purify raw sewage to environmental friendly levels by removing nutrients and waste and allowing organisms to digest it.

A similar system is already used at Firle and Crowborough sewage treatment plants, where the process requires no chemicals.

Besides treating water, the system has side-benefits, producing biogas and organic fertilisers as end-products.

Mungofa said the new plant would lessen the amount of raw sewage flowing into rivers that, because of water shortages, residents were relying on.

Mukuvisi river is the main transporter of raw sewage from northern, eastern and central areas of Harare to the Firle plant in the southern part of the city behind Glen View and Budiriro.

To the west of the city, just behind Mufakose, lies Crowborough plant, which purifies sewage from parts of the northern and all western suburbs.

“These developments coupled with the $144m loan to rehabilitate Firle and Crowborough plus the two water treatment plants at Morton Jaffrey and Prince Edward will go a long way in alleviating waterborne disease outbreaks,” said Mungofa.

Minister of health and child care David Parirenyatwa said issues of hygiene, clean water, timely refuse collection in the cities and enforcement of local authority bylaws were of great importance in avoiding outbreaks of disease.

“My ministry is collaborating with sister ministries such as local government, public works, finance and other development partners to improve on infrastructure and components that have a bearing on health,” he said.

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