Blocked toilets make life unbearable for Old Pumula residents

About 40 houses in Bulawayo’s Old Pumula suburb are affected by recurrent toilet drain blockages which has forced them to relive themselves in the bush.

The city is in the process of rehabilitating its sewer system.

When a CITE news crew visited the suburb on Friday, it was observed that the affected residents have stopped using their toilets.

A resident, Martin Sibanda said the problem has recurring for the past two months.

Sibanda said they fear for their lives as children are exposed to raw effluent which flows through their houses. 

 “We are no longer able to use our toilets even for bathing, we are now using the bush which is very far,” he lamented.

Another resident, Nkazimulo Mabhena said she started experiencing the problem in 2022 when she moved to her grandmother’s house.

 “I started staying here last year January, I found the toilet already blocked. I started reporting and they would come fix but within two days it will be blocked again. We are living in fear, children will be playing around and this affects us a lot,” she said.

She said even if the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) fixes, when the area received water, the problem starts again.

In addition, Enelisi Moyo said they have been reporting but the local authority hasn’t been assisting

“We have been reporting since February but they are not assisting, we are no longer using the toilets, we are now digging pits in our yards to relieve ourselves,” said Moyo.

She appealed for the local authority to fix sewer system so that children cannot contract diseases.

Another resident, Daniel Mabhena said they have even appealed to residents’ associations to assist them to report the matter to the local authority as there was no action.

“Council doesn’t act when we report, when there is water the situation just gets worse.”

He, however, said residents are to blame as the council always complains about diapers and soil found in the sewerage system.

“We are the ones causing the sewer to block. The situation becomes better when there is no water. Even if they repair it blocks again, so we think maybe the pipes can no longer meet the demand as we are now overpopulated. We are appealing for Council to change these pipes for us,’ said Mabhena.

Meanwhile, council employees who were on the ground attending to the matter complained about diapers, sanitary pads and soil blocking the sewerage system.

Ward 19 Councillor Christopher Dube said he is aware of the problem and the local authority is working on rectifying the situation.

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