The Bulawayo city council raised a red flag warning residents that the city’s borehole water is contaminated by sewage and also bacteriologically-contaminated soil.
Bulawayo battles an ongoing water crisis and it has implemented water-shedding programmes with some suburbs going more than 24 hours without running water, they are now relying on borehole water.
Statistics shows that Bulawayo has 346 boreholes in urban areas of which some of the borehole are part of the government’s presidential borehole drilling scheme which was introduced to ease the water crisis in the in Zimbabwe.
“The acting director of engineering services reported (on June 30) that borehole water was not treated water nor did council have the capacity to treat or protect such water from contamination.
“In that regard, the bacteriological quality of borehole water could not be guaranteed since the water was untreated and subject to contamination at any time from environmental factors like sewer overflows and bacteriologically contaminated soil. Residents were therefore advised to boil borehole water before drinking it or using it for any domestic consumption.”
In July this year a diarrhoea outbreak was reported in Pumula North a where 134 cases were recorded.
City of Bulawayo at sometime had an diarrhoea outbreak that killed nine people. More than 1,800 cases of diarrhoea had been reported.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) secretary for administration Thembelani Dube said recurring outbreaks of diarrhoea are a health concern for the residents.
“The residents’ constitutional rights as enshrined in section 77 of the constitution of Zimbabwe are violated willy-nilly due to both perceived incompetence of the management and the non-representation by elected public officials. Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association is equally worried by the exposure of residents to waterborne diseases as they end up getting water from open contaminated water sources and boreholes whose water is certified unfit for drinking by the local authority.
“BPRA is therefore calling upon Bulawayo city council to stop the water-shedding and the elected representatives to be on the ground and always feel the pulse of residents regarding the challenges they are facing,” said Dube.
Source: Bulawayo 24