‘Residents block sewer pipes to irrigate gardens’

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has warned residents who vandalise sewer pipes and divert the waste water to their gardens.

Some of the suburbs where the practice is rife are Emakhandeni, Luveve 5 and Magwegwe.

In an interview with CITE, Councillor Silas Chigora, alleged some residents were ‘deliberately’ blocking the sewer pipes and the local authority was continuously attending to burst pipes in those suburbs.

“Either their actions are caused by lack of knowledge but this is deliberate. If it is lack of knowledge the public needs to be educated on how to dispose of waste that can cause damage to the sewer reticulation system,” said Cllr Chigora.

“But what is happening is residents in some areas go and block the pipes so that the sewer doesn’t flow in its system. Instead it flows out of the pipes then they direct the sewer to their gardens. That is what is happening, they even block pipes for clean water so they can water their gardens”.

Chigora claimed in some places council workers had to take out ‘shocking matter’ that would have been used to block the pipes.

“Go to Emakhandeni between A and B, where there are churches, you find sewer flowing al over. Go to Luveve 5, near the primary school, it is the same situation and even in Magwegwe.

“We have had to take out 50kg of sacks packed with sand. Residents deliberately throw the sacks inside system then sewer flows out so they direct it to their gardens. Some have even set up banana plantations,’ he said.

Chigora added: “We have taken out kitchen utensils such as pots pans, spoons and dish towels from the pipes. How do you let your kitchen towel flow into the pipe? We have also found dead dogs. Diapers and pads are also thrown in”.

The councillor said such actions were a health hazard as residents were exposing themselves to cholera and typhoid.

“Obviously when there is a burst pipe, you need to replace the pipes and the cost to one’s health once diseases set in can’t even be measured. We repair today remove the blockage but next time it is the same situation,” he said.

Bulawayo Ward 17 councilor, Sikhululekile Moyo added what was happening was bad and residents had to understand that their actions had a financial impact on the local authority.


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