MASVINGO residents could be drinking water laced with chemicals used to wash and embalm human corpses as mortuaries are reportedly discharging effluent into a tributary that feeds into the city’s main water source, Lake Mutirikwi, a residents’ body has said.
Speaking at a knowledge brief organised by the Humanitarian Information and Facilitation Centre at the Masvingo Civic Centre yeasterday, the Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers’ Association co-ordinator Anozivaishe Muguti said they had discovered that water used to wash corpses was being discharged into Mucheke River that feeds into Lake Mutirikwi.
“We have received reports that public and private mortuaries are discharging effluent into Mucheke River which feeds into Lake Mutirikwi,” he said.
“We are carrying out our investigations as a residents’ body, but we feel there is an element of truth in it.”
He said his organisation was engaging relevant authorities to seek clarity on the issue.
“We are engaging the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and the city council over the issue because we feel even if the water is purified, we still will not be comfortable to drink such water,” Muguti said.
He said abattoirs dotted in the city’s industrial area along Mucheke River had been using the tributary as a dumping site.
“We also have abattoirs that find the river as a dumping site and eventually the waste finds its way into the lake,” Muguti said.
EMA Masvingo provincial manager Milton Muusha could not be reached for comment and Masvingo mayor Hubert Fidze was also unavailable.