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Illegal Zimbabwe Settlers Ordered to Leave Water Waste Farms to Curb Disease Outbreaks

Harare water pipe replacement underway in most parts of the city

Harare water pipe replacement underway in most parts of the city

The Harare City Council says illegal settlers on Ingwe and Crowborough Farms should vacate the waste-water treatment lands immediately to avoid contracting waterborne diseases as they have started pumping waste water into this area.

Harare city council says the pumping of the waste onto the farms follows the successful upgrading of the Firle and Crowborough waste water plants.

Acting communications manager Michael Chideme said council is being assisted by the Zimbabwe Republic Police in evicting the illegal settlers.

The country faced a cholera outbreak which killed 4,288 people out of 98,592 infections between August 2008 and July 2009. The outbreak was largely blamed on the collapsed service delivery system in Zimbabwe and lack of access to clean and safe water.

"There is an imminent health hazard looming. There are chances of an outbreak of diseases like typhoid, cholera, and diahorrea in those areas, and we would like the illegal settlers to move with immediate effect so that we do not have a repeat of what we saw happen a few years ago when the country was hit by a cholera outbreak," said Chideme.

Chideme said the council issued prior warnings for the settlers to vacate the waste water treatment farms to enable the city to irrigate grazing pastures for thousands of their cattle.

"The city keeps several thousands of cattle on the farms that graze the pastures irrigated by the waste water. If the waste water is not used to irrigate the pastures it means that city would be discharging the waste water into the river systems further polluting the city's water sources," said Chideme.

"There is a clear buffer zone between human settlements and the farms to protect residents from the dangers associated with waste water," he added.