HARARE sewer workers are coming across a dumped foetus every fortnight, Council’s waste water manager Simon Muserere has revealed.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
Muserere said during a tour of the city’s Firle Farm sewage processing plant in Harare on Friday, that the misuse of the sewage system through acts such as baby dumping contributed to about 50% of blockages.
“At least once every two weeks we come across a foetus that would have been dumped in the sewages.
“In 2004 we came across three bodies of men with hands tied behind their backs. We have also come across one middle-aged woman whom we think may have been murdered,” he said.
“That is just part of the challenges that we encounter here at the plant. We have huge deposits of clothes, spoons, rags, brooms and a lot of other stuff that should never be found in the sewer.
Muserere added: “All our biogas digesters were full of sand. We are receiving about 15 tonnes of sand everyday instead of three tonnes.”
He said the biogas digesters that should normally be emptied every five years have not been cleared since 1998.
Muserere said chemical deposits from industrial processes were corroding pumps and pipes.
He said the cholera outbreak that claimed about 4 500 lives in 2008 was mainly caused by failure to process sewage at the plant which resulted in the depositing of raw sewage into Lake Chivero — the city’s source of drinking water.
Data provided by council show-ed that all five of Harare’s sewer treatment plants were collectively pumping out a mere 8 mega litres instead of its capacity of 207,5 mega litres per day.