By Stephen Chadenga

The Gweru city sewage system has collapsed and needs complete overhaul with raw effluent now polluting the environment and posing a serious health hazard to residents.

Speaking at a recent full council meeting, deputy mayor Cleopas Shiri said officials indicated that the system was obsolete and had collapsed.

“It was indicated during that (full council) meeting that the sewer system had collapsed,” Shiri said.

“We have blocked pipes and pungent smell being the order of the day especially in high-density suburbs.

“The city is polluted and there is need to attend to the situation in a matter of urgency.”

Shiri said there was need to expedite the refurbishment of the system.

Deputy city engineer, Praymore Mhlanga confirmed the breakdown of the sewer system and said his department was working on modalities to address the problem.

“We are working on modalities to overhaul the collapsed sewer system,” he said.

“There is need for resources so that we upgrade the whole system as a long-term plan.

“At the moment we are buying materials in batches to attend to sewer blockages in the city.”

Recently council indicated that it required more than $40 million to rehabilitate its sewer system, which it said had become obsolete.

The money is needed to overhaul the two treatment plants — Cambridgeshire and Outfall as well as seven pump stations.

In 2016, council was fined by the Environmental Management Agency after being found guilty of discharging 30 megalitres of raw sewage from Cambridgeshire into nearby streams.

The majority of the councillors indicated that burst sewage pipes in their wards were the order of the day.

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