16 November 2018
THE Environmental Management Agency has noted with concern sewage being discharged into the water bodies causing serious problems to crops, aquatic life and human beings.
EMA provincial education and publicity officer, Simon Musasiwa said EMA had received complaints from farmers using Sebakwe River water for irrigation that their plants are being affected by diseases related to use of contaminated water.
“As EMA we have received complaints by farmers using Sebakwe river water for irrigation who had started noticing plant diseases which had previously been unknown in the area.
“Fungal diseases were noticed on horticulture and attributed to the use of contaminated water,” said Musasiwa.
The sewer bursts and spillages are attributed to illegal gold miners who are blocking the manholes and vandalising sewer pipes in Globe and Phoneix.
This has resulted in formation of streams of untreated sewage spilling into Sebakwe river where many people and animals in Sherwood and other areas near the river use the water for consumption and irrigation.
Meanwhile, EMA and Kwekwe city council have encouraged residents to be vigilant and responsible to their own environment to prevent the spread of diseases such as cholera, typhoid and other waterborne diseases.
“Untreated sewage being discharged has the potential to pollute any receiving water bodies thereby causing problems like algal blooms, fish deaths, diseases such as cholera and typhoid and contaminated water can affect agriculture by introducing plant diseases that reduce the value of crops grown.
“Farmers are advised to take water samples for analysis should they suspect contamination by any external sources of pollution be it chemical spillages or sewage,” said Musasiwa.
Civil Protection Unit has also chipped by planning to involve stakeholders to deal with the vandalism of sewer pipes and untreated sewage discharge.
“As CPU we will hold a meeting involving stakeholders from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, members of Joint Operations Command and others to assist us in dealing with this problem decisively,” said assistant District Administrator Margret Mhlanga.