Diarrhoea outbreak: BCC insists tap water is safe for drinking

Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has disputed a government claim that there were traces of human waste found in the water that was supplied to Luveve suburb in Bulawayo.

The alleged contaminated water resulted in the outbreak of a diarrhoea disease which has since claimed 13 lives and left many bed-ridden.

Local Government and Public Works Minister, July Moyo, was quoted in a local newspaper saying tests conducted on some of the water samples revealed that there were ‘faeces beyond the standards allowed by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe.’

In an interview with CITE while visiting affected residents in the suburb, Monday, Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni said the residents were the best people to confirm if the water they had received did have faeces in it.

The mayor gave assurance that the water being received by the residents now is safe for drinking.

“We believe that the Luveve water is safe for consumption just like the other neighbouring areas which drink from the same reservoir such as Gwabalanda, Cowdray Park and Magwegwe. Considering that the suburb has been exempted from water shedding the water is as safe as should be,” said Mayor Mguni.

Ward 20 Councillor, Alderman Earnest Rafamoyo, who has an engineering background noted that according to the way in which Bulawayo pipes are laid, there is very limited probability that human waste would be mixed with water for consumption purposes.

“The laying out of pipes in this city is such that water pipes are laid at the front of the house and sewer pipes are laid at the back of the house. So technically speaking, the probability of these two pipes to mix is very low. There is need for concrete evidence to back these allegations,” said Alderman Rafamoyo.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association Ward 15 chairperson Ndaba Ngoma said although the water did have an odour similar to sewer water, none of the residents had seen actual human waste from in the water which ran from their taps.

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