Following revelations by the government that the Bulawayo City Council and industries in the city are discharging raw sewage and other hazardous affluent directly into the uMguza catchment area, the local authority has assured residents that they are not in danger of drinking contaminated water.
The council says the waste materials flow to the west and drinking water comes from the east of the city.
Bulawayo mayor, Councillor Martin Moyo, says the sewage is flowing into Mazai and Phekiwe rivers, which then spill into Umguza River, far from the city's water sources.
Companies accused of spilling affluent into the rivers include Delta Beverages, Schweppes, Ingwebu Breweries, Colcom, Cold Storage Company, Treger, Kango and United Refineries.
Health experts have warned that the affluent, which include phosphates, ammonia, and nitrates, is linked to various child diseases and cancers in adults.
A cabinet committee chaired by Local Government Minister Ignatious Chombo is investigating the issue and is being advised by a team of engineers and chemists.
The committee comprises ministries of Health and Child Care, Environment, Water and Climate, Local Government , Public Works and National Housing.
Councillor Moyo tells reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga the issue is not new as the council wrote to the government in 2011 seeking borrowing powers to the tune of13 million dollars to resuscitate the sewer system.