Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has expressed concern over the vandalism of sewerage infrastructure by people in peri-urban area in order to access water for their livestock.
Sewer bursts have become a common phenomenon across the city.
Speaking during a full Council meeting last Wednesday Ward 17 Councillor, Sikhululekile Moyo, said the local authority was wasting fuel attending to hotspots everyday to no avail with bursts continuing to be the order of the day.
“The problem of burst sewers is increasing; residents are swimming in sewers. We report the sewers and plumbers attend on time, but after a day they burst again.”Councillor Sikhululekile Moyo.
“We wish to know how far the Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP) has gone because we are wasting fuel as Council, attending to hotspots every day and if it is a matter of manpower shortage, why can’t plumbers go and assist in that area so we can sort out hotspots there.”
However, Ward 1 Councillor, Mlandu Ncube claimed, people vandalise sewer infrastructure to open water sources for their livestock especially those living in Pumula.
“We have tried to clear burst sewers in some hotspots such as NKulumane and Old Pumula, but you will notice that a few weeks later, some people go and vandalise the infrastructure. Their excuse is the local authority closed water sources where their cattle used to drink,” said Cllr Ncube.
“So, now the crisis we have is whilst we are trying to push forward the BWSSIP, we have to go back to some areas that would have been vandalised and fix them again.”
Cllr Ncube urged residents to preserve the municipality’s infrastructure for future generations.
“The important thing to note is let us not live for today, people who settled here 100 years ago did not live for one day. Imagine what would have happened, if they had a mentality to vandalise council structures for their cattle and goats, I tell you we would have found Cholera swimming in this city. Let us encourage our residents not to live for the moment, they must live for tomorrow, as we continue trying to deal with the sewer system in the city.”Councillor Mlandu Ncube.
“We can have community plumbers who will be manning the infrastructure 24/7 but as long as there our attitude towards safeguarding the city’s infrastructure is weak, we will have BSWIP programmes every year.
“I believe if everyone has basic knowledge of protecting this infrastructure, we would not be replacing blockages all the time. Residents must know that when washing their dishes, soil should not be put in the drainage. If we have knowledge and appreciation of using this existing infrastructure, we will preserve our infrastructure. Communities that have cows and donkeys should find other water sources rather than diverting sewer water and destroying infrastructure.”
Currently, the local authority is urging residents to practice ‘The Big Flush’ twice a day in the morning (6 to 6.30AM) and evening (8 to 8.30PM), in a bid to clean sewer and its reticulation system after days of critical water rationing.