Marlborough residents in trouble

HARARE - They say “ignorance is bliss”, but perhaps not when people’s health and wellbeing is endangered by lack of determination on Harare City Council (HCC)’s part to finish what they started.

Rainy seasons are normally celebrated as they are relied upon for the provision of water, an essential facet of life, but the case is different for Marlborough families whose lives will be at risk when the rains start this season.

The disgruntled families were left exposed to open gutters which the city council dug up in a bid to resolve a sewer burst that had troubled the families for almost two years.

One of the residents, Moses Chiwamba told the Daily News on Sunday that he had thrown in the towel with regards to the sewer burst as their complaints as residents fell on deaf ears.

Last month, the Harare Residents Trust put pressure on the city fathers by solemnly holding them fully accountable for the situation amid claims that some council officials illegally facilitated sewerage connections to some illegal households in the suburb.

The HCC finally responded to the woes of the families and began digging up gutters for the installation of a new bigger sewer pump to accommodate and rectify the sewer burst for affected houses.

However, the residents’ hope for a functional sewerage system was cut short when a forklift had an unexpected breakdown after a day in use, leaving the dug up gutters wide open.

Speaking to the Daily News on Sunday, the city council’s pump attendant said he was not sure when the forklift would be back in operation as it had to be taken back to the contractor for maintenance.  

This unfortunate setback has left residents fretting about their fate when rains come, supposedly the council does not resume its operations soon.

“The open gutters are a great threat to our children especially during the rainy seasons, soon they will be filled up with sewage and kids being kids will secretly go there to play in the water. This is not safe at all,” said Chiwamba.

Another resident, Liana Magasa told the Daily News on Sunday that since the council began its work to rectify the problem, her flash system has been working well compared to the days when it was unattended to.

It surely seems the problem of these residents is far from over as the council is dithering towards finding a long-lasting solution for such an emergency situation.

One resident who declined to be named said the sewerage bursts caused dire problems in his home as a week does not end without waste matter bursting out through gullies.

Residents revealed that involving the district office is of no use as they have failed to resolve his issue for a long time.

Efforts to get hold of the district office for comment before publication were fruitless.

According to the residents, out of six sewer pumps only one is working and it is very small to accommodate Marlborough, Westgate and Red roofs.

The residents identified problems like small necked sewer pumps, blocked main pipe resulting in its incapacitation to transfer the waste matter to the main ponds, and under deals made by the council leading to their suffering.

At the moment, the residents are living in fear of contracting water borne diseases like cholera and typhoid, which have claimed many lives in the country for the past one month.

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