BY KENNETH NYANGANI

MUTARE City Council’s finance director Blessing Kapuya Chafesuka has raised the red flag over the quality of water drawn from Odzani Dam, saying it is heavily polluted by chemicals used by illegal gold miners upstream.

The dam, located in Mutasa district, is the city’s main water supplier.

Speaking during a supplementary budget meeting with residents, Chafesuka said: “There is the issue of Odzani Dam. There is a signal which is dangerous and we need to help each other and as Mutare residents you have power to speak to the government to solve the issue of illegal gold mining in the Mutasa district where the dam is,” he said.

“We are worried because of illegal gold miners who are mining near Odzani Dam, they are polluting the dam with the chemicals they use to mine gold.

“As Mutare City Council, we are now accruing a loss, council is using a lot of money to buy chemicals to clean the water, contamination of water is detrimental to your health.”

United Mutare Residents Ratepayers Trust (UMRRT) programmes director Edson Dube said ratepayers were equally worried.

“As residents of Mutare, we are equally concerned with the contamination of Odzani Dam, we don’t want to die. We are going to write a petition to government so that they drive away these illegal miners,” he said.

Council and residents have agreed on a $33 million supplementary budget for this year.

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