Chiredzi - Stagnation and total neglect of Chiredzi basic infrastructure over the decades has seen the town's miniscule sewer infrastructure getting overloaded to breaking point, with a continuously growing population not being balanced with equal infrastructural upgrades, TellZim News can reveal.
The previous census indicates Chiredzi has 35 000 people but recent estimates put the population at 55 000 yet the town's sewerage capacity was meant for a population of only 9 000.
Speaking during an engagement meeting which was facilitated by the Zimbabwe Liberators Platform (ZLP) and attended by residents and council personnel, residents of Tshovani said most of the sewer bursts have resulted in pools of stagnant sewer water.
These, the residents say, are an excellent breeding ground for mosquitoes in the town.
Chiredzi Town Council (CTC) secretary, Charles Muchatukwa confirmed the gravity of the situation and said council was working on rectifying the problem.
"It's unfortunate that those pipes are old since they were commissioned in 1964 and they were meant for a population of only 9 000 people which was the population of the town by then.
Now the population has shot to almost 55 000, something which has led to continuous bursts of the sewerage pipes. We are working on that," Muchatukwa said.
The town's surging population is attributable to steady migration as people seek to make a living in the sugar industry; the country's only industry which is still operating at 100 percent capacity and more.
The population growth has, however, come with dire consequences for the small town which now has to deal with countless sewer bursts and other infrastructural deficiencies on a very weak revenue base.
The sewer line from West road to Mugandani in Tshovani has for a long time been an eyesore to residents and a headache to council due to frequent bursts.
Town Council engineer, Wesley Kauma said council is mobilising funds to the tune of US$1 million which will be channelled towards the upgrading of the sewer pipe.
The country's sewer and water infrastructure was put up by successive colonial governments and virtually nothing has been done to rehabilitate the systems for the past 36 years.news