Harare Mayor Bemoans Over-polluted Lake Chivero
Harare Mayor Hebert Gomba has bemoaned the high levels of pollution at Lake Chivero, the city’s main source of water supply- stressing that the reservoir should have been long decommissioned.
Speaking during a wetlands indaba at Town House this morning, Gomba said Lake Chivero has become heavily polluted by human activity.
“Lake Chivero is now heavily polluted largely through human action. It should have been decommissioned a long time ago but we are still using it because there is no other source of water,” he said.
Harare is facing acute water shortages yet most of its supply dams are already experiencing critical water levels in the wake of another drought spell.
As a result, the City has depended heavily on water supply from Lake Chivero which is prone to a lot of human pollution activities which include chemical spillages and garbage dumping among others.
The development has compromised the quality of water for Harare ‘s residents as it requires more chemicals for purification at a time the local authority is struggling financially to meet its obligations.
Gomba also said wetlands have been destroyed leading to water challenges and urged politicians not to parcel out wetlands as stands.
“The problems of water in Harare also stem from the destruction of wetlands through construction and cultivation activities. Residents should stop settling on wetlands. I am also urging the politicians to desist from encouraging people to settle on wetlands. It is causing major problems at the lake which will result in less water for the city,”
Gomba however said although it is a constitutional right for people to access land, they should not abuse that right by setting up residence on protected land.
“Ironically when we tell people to move from the wetlands they come to council and demand that we give them land elsewhere because it is enshrined in the Constitution yet their actions would have been illegal. They are even supported by human rights groups yet they are violating our residents right to clean and safe water,”
“The country’s laws criminalizes settling or constructing on wetlands, the city does not take an exception. Our wetlands are under threat from illegal housing programmes that have not been sanctioned by council. Climate change has not spared us as a city. Our wetlands are drying. We must keep the swamps that we still have a city” he said
Wetlands in Harare are under immense threat from land developers, urban farmers, industrial pollution and climate change