Funeral parlours urge EMA to act on increased pollution


ALL funeral parlours in Bulawayo have appealed to the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) against establishing treatment facilities of solid material generated during their operations, the local authority has said.

Staff Reporter

Council raised concern that all sewage treatment plants in the city continue to produce effluent that is polluting the environment.

It said most factories were still to comply with rehabilitated effluent plants. Last year, funeral parlours, service stations, fuel holding depots and food processing plants were accused of dumping waste in the drinking water system countrywide.

According to a report of compliance and progress by industry in installation of pollution abatement facilities, it said funeral parlours are currently taking solid waste to hospitals for incineration.

“Cross-city streams continue to be polluted by industrial effluent discharges and sewer chokes,” council said. “All sewage treatment plants continue to produce effluent that is polluting the environment.

“Shortage of manpower, equipment and vehicle breakdowns negatively affected the routine water and waste water quality monitoring by the three sub-sections.

“Hence the high variances in some planned sampling schedules.”

The report said funeral parlours were still waiting for a response from EMA. On abattoirs, council said Bulawayo Abattoirs had rehabilitated its effluent plant, but the quality of its effluent was still outside prescribed limits, although it has improved.

Cold Storage Commission was said to have submitted its action plan and pledged to rehabilitate the treatment plant by December 2014 and “they are still acquiring pumps to improve on their pre-treatment plant and have dug up their sludge beds”.

Ingwebu Breweries engaged the National University of Science and Technology to assist in reduction of organic pollutants, while Lobel’s pre-treatment plant is reported as unable to reduce organic pollutants.

Last year, a Cabinet committee ordered thousands of polluting firms to immediately install waste interceptors and pre-treatment plants to curb pollution or face closure. The committee was established to probe causes of water pollution and raw sewage disposal and make recommendations.

Tanneries have organic solids, dyes and paints which are poisonous and dangerous to humans and aquatic life, while food outlets and food processing plants produce oils and fats that block sewer reticulation systems.

Funeral parlours are releasing the embalming fluid, formaldehyde, which kills bacteria that is important in sewage purification.

Breweries and beverage producers release alkaline that kills bacteria for sewer purification and abattoirs have fats and organic solids that reduce biological oxygen demand, thus destroying aquatic life.