Government has admitted to the decay of water infrastructure in Harare which is hardest hit by the current cholera outbreak, with Local Government minister July Moyo saying over 5 000 kilometres of sewerage pipes had outlived their lifespan.
Moyo was asked by Norton MP Temba Mliswa in the National Assembly to explain the corrective measures that his ministry was taking to ensure a safe water system in Harare in view of the cholera outbreak.
“Cholera is caused by a number of underlying reasons, one of which is sewerage systems in our local authorities that have collapsed because the pipes are too old, with some of them over 60 years old (sic),” Moyo said.
“In Harare where the epicentre of the cholera outbreak as you know that over 5 000km of sewage pipes have over lived their lifespan (sic).”
He said in the short-term government injected $6,7 million so that Harare City Council can attend to burst pipes.
“They are bursting and they are laid in the same trench as your water systems. So when they burst, they obviously affect the water that is, within the same neighbourhood as the sewerage pipes,” Moyo said.
He said other causes of cholera were poor solid waste management systems, adding government has directed the City of Harare to take care of the Pomona dumpsite.
“Government has now said we need to set up a committee to make sure that resources are mobilised to invest in all our local authorities so that we can upgrade water, sewerage, and storm water drainage systems and give equipment to local authorities so that they can collect refuse timeously,” he said.
Moyo said government was now working with local authorities like the Harare City Council, Chitungwiza Municipality, Epworth Town Board and Ruwa Town Board to set up a committee which will create an organisation that will look after water and sewers across Greater Harare.
“This is what other municipalities and metropolitan cities have done. We are definitely talking to the city councils and we have brought them together so that we can look at these and analyse how we can deal with it,” he said.
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