In an interview yesterday, Mr Ngulube said Gweru City Council has been discharging raw effluent into Gweru River for the past four years with EMA only issuing out “countless” tickets as fines without necessarily putting up measures to make sure that the urban local authority conclusively addressed the problem.
“The issue of raw effluent being discharged into Vungu River by Gweru City Council has been going on unabated for the past four years. We made several reports to EMA, we engaged the city council but until now nothing has been done to address the issue. It seems EMA is a mere fining body because they have been issuing tickets without necessarily putting up measures to see that the city council addresses the problem,” he said.
Mr Ngulube said several villagers from Mthijoni Village in Lower Gweru recently fell ill and were admitted to hospital after eating some fish from a heavily polluted dam in the area.
“The villagers have since been treated and discharged from a local clinic but this is the danger we are exposed to as the Gweru city council continues to discharge raw sewage into Vungu,” he said.
Mr Ngulube said the discharging of raw sewage had also interrupted operations at the 90-hectare Mambanjeni Irrigation Scheme in Lower Gweru.
“The discharged raw sewage has corroded the irrigation machinery and now the irrigation scheme is lying idle as a result,” said Mr Ngulube.
He said there was a need for stakeholders to work together and address the problem urgently.
“This problem has to be addressed once and for all and there is really a need for stakeholders to work together in solving the problem,” he said.
Gweru City Council Deputy Mayor Councillor Taurai Demo confirmed the pollution of Gweru River by the urban council.
He said the local authority was working towards addressing the issue.
“We are very much aware of the issue of raw sewage being discharged into Gweru River and we are working on addressing the problem,” he said.