Harare Boreholes Not Safe- City Council

THE City of Harare’s Acting Town Clerk, Mr Hosiah Chisango has called on citizens to boil and treat borehole water before drinking as it may contain Cholera and Typhoid causing bacteria owing to the nature of the city’s sewage network.

By Michael Gwarisa

The development comes at the back of an unfolding Cholera epidemic which has claimed more than 20 lives and infected at least 3060 people.

Responding to a question during an inter-ministerial meeting where a coordinating team was being set up to monitor the Cholera situation in the country, Mr Chisango said the existing sewage network system had high chances of interfering with borehole water should the sewage pipes burst.

“In Harare, our network of sewage pipes is located underground and there is high risk of residents contracting Cholera if the pipes burst and clean borehole water mixes with sewage water.

“We cannot say borehole water is safe, residents need to boil or treat this water to avoid getting sick and prevent themselves from Cholera infection,” said Mr Chisango.

He added that council was currently struggling to attend to burst sewage pipes emergencies owing to financial challenges with latest indications showing that residents somehow stopped honoring their bills in the run up period to the elections.

However, residents in Budiriro and Glenview have blamed the City of Harare for ignoring their emergency calls amidst indications that the current source of the current Cholera epidemic which is a  is a blocked sewer pipe has been in that state for a while and council has been ignoring resident’s plea to have it fixed.

“So what happened is that we had some financial challenges and at times attending to these emergencies was a challenge. You can see that towards the election period, residents just stopped paying their rates and we could not manage to fix these burst water or sewer pipes,” said Mr Chisango.

Certain boreholes in Glenview and Budiriro are however located close or in the midst of sewage affluent as the burst sewage pipes crisis is rampart in the area.

Meanwhile, the City health department last year condemned a number of Boreholes in Hatcliff following the discovery of Typhithe bacteria which causes Typhoid in some of the boreholes.

The City health department in partnership with the Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) had to install inline borehole chlorinators to treat the borehole water.

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