ZIMBABWE – Residents who illegally settled at Crowborough Farm have now started vandalise infrastructure so as to stop effluent from reaching where they built their homes.
This was revealed by Harare City Council Waste Water Engineer Victor Musikavanhu during a tour of the farm yesterday.
“The storage pools are used to irrigate the pastures where our cattle graze.
“But because these people settled on the land meant for pastures and they have now started vandalizing the infrastructure so as to avoid the sewage reaching their homes.
“They are destroying pipes, valves chambers and gate valves in a bid to have the water to reach where they are settled,” revealed Eng Musikavanhu.
Eng Musikavanhu said they have since advised the police who have promised to help them to make the storage pool facilities secure.
The illegal settlers are also said to be posing a great danger to council’s cattle which they are attacking.
It is said over 800 structures have sprouted at the farms.
Currently rehabilitation works at Crowborough Sewage Treatment Plant are at over 70 percent completion and producing about 100 megalitres a day, hence the need to have the storage dams properly function to irrigate the pastures.
During a separate tour of the farm, Emson Zaware, Harare City Council Farms Administrator said “when we complete rehabilitating, the effluent will come through this side (storage pools) because we can’t put the effluent direct into the river because of pollution of some water bodies.
“So the effluent will come through these storage dams and we use the effluent to irrigate the pastures so that it will leave the nutrients in the grass before it goes to the water bodies.
“This land which was invaded is the land which was meant for irrigating grass which takes in the nutrients but now people invaded it,” Zaware.
To absorb the nutrients from the water, City of Harare grows kikuyu and star grass.
“The grass is meant to be mowed but in this case we use cattle so that when they graze, they will help in cutting the grass so that when it grows, it will take more nutrients.
“The nutrients in the effluent should be reduced because if it (effluent) has more nutrients, it will be more expensive to treat.
“But unfortunately the people who invaded the land here, are chasing away our cattle, so we have a serious challenge in this regard,” added Zaware.