Harare battles to treat wastewater

Yeukai Karengezeka Municipal Correspondent
Harare City Council is struggling to treat waste water in its three treatment plants, with only 83 megalitres being treated every day to satisfactory quality in line with Environmental Management Agency (EMA) standards.

Government has since intervened and change is expected in waste water treatment, which has been characterised by frequent sewer chokes, by availing $890 000 for the upgrading of 8 000 sewer mains in Glen View and Budiriro suburbs.

Moreover, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube availed $300 000 for repair of Firle Sewage Works and $220 000 for Crowborough Sewage Works.

According to recent council minutes, councillors expressed concern over the matter as the capacity of Firle, Crowborough and Hatcliffe treatment plants was below the volume of waste water generated in the city.

Acting Harare water director Engineer Mabhena Moyo reported that the bulk of the waste water was treated to secondary level quality and was released to irrigate pastures on council farms.

Eng Moyo said an increase in treated waste water was expected once repairs were completed.

“Acting director for Harare water advised that a contractor was currently on site working on electrical and mechanical components which were at 90 percent completion,” read the minutes.

“He expected the electrical and mechanical works to significantly increase the volume of treated waste water and that various projects were underway at the sewer treatment plants.”

Eng Moyo said processes to sell cattle to finance the rehabilitation of digesters was also underway and that a Memorandum of Understanding had also been signed with a unnamed partner for rehabilitation of Donnybrook Sewer Ponds.

Council expressed concern that numerous resolutions had been made regarding the problem, but no solutions had been found to ensure less effluent flowed into the city’s water system.

Town Clerk Engineer Hosiah Chisango told councillors that the city had challenges in finding investment partners.

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