Sharon Chimenya, Masvingo Correspondent
THE vandalism of Masvingo City Council manhole lids due to the brisk business of scrap metal processing is affecting sewer reticulation with more than 80 tonnes of sand having been pumped out of the system last week.
Sewage Works superintendent Mr Innocent Munhazu during a tour of the Rujeko Pump Station said the sand that got into the sewer channel was as a result of heavy rains experienced this year, the vandalism of the manholes lids for scrap metal and the use of sand in washing of pots by the community.
The pump station was last month reported to have been down and the sewer was being discharged into the Mucheke River which feeds into Lake Mutirikwi the sole water source for Masvingo City.
“At this station that’s where we do the desludging exercise and the removal of sand which will have been washed into the sewer pipes from the storm water drains and also through the community activities of washing their pots using sand. This year we received heavy rains and the sand was washed away into the manholes in which our manhole lids were stolen because of the scrap metal business,” he said.
Mr Munhazu said that the system was not constructed to pump sand and hence according to their plan they are only supposed to be pumping at least one tonne of sand but they are pumping over 30 tonnes.
“The sand will then corrode our pipes because we will be pumping sand instead of sludge. Last week we pumped out about 80 tonnes of sand choking our pipes. On a monthly basis we are pumping around 30-40 tonnes of sand instead of about one tonne.”
Mr Munhazu urged the community to desist from the use of sand and vim in cleaning dishes as this is also affecting the sewer reticulation.
“The council infrastructure is being targeted for metal bearing components by vandals within the community for resale to scrap metals dealers at the expense of service delivery. Communities are being inconvenienced and deprived of basic services such as functional sewer lines due to the theft and vandalism of manhole lids, reposition of grit into sewer systems. The environment is also adversely affected as sewer spillage results in environmental disasters which cause contamination of Mucheke River and Lake Mutirikwi which serve as the water source for the whole city.”