Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has condemned water at a number schools and clinics in the city amid revelations that water in Emganwini is still heavily contaminated, exposing residents to water borne diseases.
In May residents in Emganwini reportedly raised a red flag over the quality of the water they were getting, alleging that it was contaminated hence fears that they could be exposed to a diarrhoea outbreak.
Four months on, the local authority has reported that while the matter was temporarily resolved, the water is once again contaminated with the bacteria levels recorded, in the “too numerous to count” levels.
According to the latest council report the local authority had flushed the Emganwini system in a bid to solve the problem but this had yielded no results.
“The Emganwini area was monitored from May 2021 when complaints of poor water quality were first reported. The results generally continued to be unsatisfactory. Flushing of the line temporarily solved the problem, only to revert back to the unsatisfactory results as shown in the tables below.
“The Engineering Services Department was advised of the unsatisfactory results and need for a lasting intervention in the area,” reads the report.
Samples taken at some of the premises in the suburb tested positive for feacal coliforms, with non-feacal coliforms and plate counts in some instances being too numerous to count.
According to water-research.net; “. . . the presence of feacal coliform bacteria in aquatic environments indicates that the water has been contaminated with the feacal material of man or other animals.
“At the time this occurred, the source water may have been contaminated by pathogens or disease producing bacteria or viruses which can also exist in fecal material.
“Some waterborne pathogenic diseases include typhoid fever, viral and bacterial gastroenteritis and hepatitis A.”
Meanwhile, a number of schools and clinics in the city have had their water condemned as being contaminated, as the local authority continues to face challenges in ensuring the quality of water it supplies its residents.
The latest council report states that some of the areas that have been red flagged include Aisebly School, Newmansford School, Thomas Rudland School, Northvale Shops, Woodville School, Hillside Dams, Whitestone School, Circular Drive, Mattie/Moffat Pump Station, Sidojiwe Number Two Flats, Bulawayo Abattoirs, Gibixhegu Beer Garden, Emakhandeni Clinic and Magwegwe Clinic.
They also include North End Pool, Umguza Park Club, Montana Abattoirs, Mabutweni Hall, Mabutweni Water Workshops, J. Mthimkhulu School, Ingwegwe School,United Spring, Nketa Housing Office, Barham Green Pool, Cowdray Park TM and Tasha’s Shops.
“Four food factories, two butcheries, one bakery and one guest house were swabbed during the month. The results for all premises were unsatisfactory. The department to intensify health education and legislation enforcement. The major challenge in the response activities was the continued risky behaviours. Bulawayo was still on high alert for typhoid as it was endemic in neighbouring cities,” reads the report.
In May, the local authority condemned some major food outlets in the city and a number of butcheries and gave them warnings to improve their hygienic levels or face closure. BCC’s health services department carries out routine spot checks on restaurants, butcheries and all facilities that deal with food to ensure adherence to by-laws and that they do not expose the public to health hazards.