Home » Arts & Culture » Govt Summons Companies Over Water Pollution

Government has summoned companies that are allegedly polluting the water system across the country. Among the culprits are funeral parlours, service stations, fuel holding depots and food processing plants. Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo and Harare City Council officials would meet the company’s representatives at Town House today to find ways of mitigating pollution.

A report by permanent secretaries submitted to a committee established to probe causes of water pollution nots that service stations, chemical processing plants and transport operators’ garages release oil, grease and silt which pollute underground water and corrode sewer systems.

Tanneries have organic solids, dyes and paints which are poisonous and dangerous to human and aquatic life, while food outlets and food processing plants produce oils and fats that block sewer reticulation systems.

Funeral parlours are releasing the embalming fluid formaldehyde, which kills bacteria that is important in sewage purification.

Breweries and beverage producers produce alkaline that also kills bacteria for sewer purification and abattoirs have fats and organic solids that reduce biological oxygen demand, thus destroying aquatic life.

Government has since ordered thousands of such businesses to immediately install waste interceptors and pre-treatment plants to curb pollution or face closure.

The Zim-Asset cluster on infrastructure and utilities stipulates that for the economy to register growth in a competitive and effective manner, there is need to develop robust, elaborate and resilient infrastructure in water and sanitation.

The committee recommended that the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate immediately gazette a Statutory Instrument enforcing the “polluter pays principle”.

The Cabinet Committee includes the ministries of Finance and Economic Development, Energy and Power Development, Industry and Commerce, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Mines and Mining Development and Health and Child Care.

Local authorities are also notorious for discharging waste into water bodies and the Cabinet Committee recommended that sewage pump stations be rehabilitated

Companies fingered included Delta Beverages, Schweppes, Ingwebu Breweries, Colcom, CSC, Treger Kango and United Refineries.

These operate with bad pre-treatment plants or without any.

Source : The Herald