Emganwini residents complain over poor water quality

Emganwini residents have raised alarm at the poor water quality coming out of their taps amid reports of an outbreak of a suspected water-borne disease in the area.

This comes after 13 people died last year and over 1 500 people were affected in Luveve suburb after drinking contaminated water.

Residents who spoke to CITE said they have fallen sick after drinking water from the taps.

“We are having challenges with water quality at Emganwini, the water is making us sick, we are vomiting and having diarrhea, we reported to the City Council but they are not assisting us,” said a resident Muchadei Mudiwa. 

Mudiwa added that council officials visited the area and captured details of some of the affected residents.

“They come here and record our names, and ask us what is wrong but they do not assist us, when we go to the clinic we pay.  My children are bed ridden as it is, everyone is running to the toilet now and then,” she said. 

Another resident, Eric Sibanda said both him and his mother had to seek treatment after drinking tap water.

“The water which came out of our taps was smelling of sewerage, I got sick around December and February. My mother was admitted to United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) earlier this month,” said Sibanda. 

“This is very tragic; the whole area is complaining.” he said. 

Another resident, Bongani Moyo said when they visited the local clinic they were told that they were suffering from gastrointestinal disease.  

“It’s now a month since we fell sick, four people at home are sick, the water that came from our taps was either green or black in colour. Every time there are water cuts, the water comes out with green or black colour,” he said. 

Contacted for a comment, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) coordinator Emmanuel Ndlovu said they want to conduct tests to ascertain the source of contamination. 

“We want to conduct tests and establish what is in the water because the Council is again saying people are storing water in dirty containers. Last time in Luveve we tested the water and found that the water was contaminated with human waste and we tried to trace the source of contamination from the criterion up to the taps and we discovered that the water was contaminated along the way prompting Council change their pipes,” said Ndlovu. 

“So, we think the same thing could be happening, but basically what we are doing is to get answers, we want answers and residents want answers.”

Bulawayo City Council (BCC) Corporate Communications Manager, Nesisa Mpofu said they receive reports of water quality complaints. 

“The City of Bulawayo did receive reports of water quality complaints from the area and dispatched teams to investigate,” said Mpofu. 

She, however, said currently they do not have statistics of the affected people. 

Mpofu said BCC has moved to ensure continuous uninterrupted water supply in the area. 

“We are ensuring continuous uninterrupted water supply in the area, while the teams check on the water pipes supplying the area,” she said. 

Mpofu added that the municipality is also intensifying attendance to sewer bursts, water bursts and water leaks in the area as a precautionary measure. 

“We encourage residents to boil their water for potable use,” said Mpofu. 

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