By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | Global Editor At Large
HARARE, Zimbabwe – Harare City Council requires a total of US$18 million dollars to fix the Firle Sewerage, the country’s largest sewer treatment plant located at the outskirts of Glen View suburb in Harare. The plant is experiencing serious breakdowns which is affecting its capacity to treat the waste received.
“The situation here is like pulling a catapult to breaking point. We really need to get money to turn the problem around,” said Simon Muserere, Harare City Council’s Waste Water Manager.
“There’s need for more funds for units such as biological filters, ponds, effluent pumping plants among others.”
Muserere said that frequent power cuts were also making the situation worse at the city’s sewer treatment works. He said that lack of knowledge among residents is also compounding the problem of treating water. He said that residents should desist from using grit when they wash their dishes as most sewerage chocks are because of accumulation of grit in the sewer line.
“We’ve clothes, rugs, spoons and plates among other things coming through the sewerage system. The issue of grit coming from upstream is a big problem,” said Muserere, adding that the plant is facing problems of serious toxidity caused by the waste water or acidic water coming from industrial areas.
He said that sand is also a major problem with five tonnes being retrieved at the Firle Sewerage Treatment Plant on a daily basis. Firle sewage treatment plant, located 12 kilometres upstream of Lake Chivero, receives 144 mega litres of sewerage per day while it has a capacity to treat only 90.