Court orders firm to drill boreholes

BULAWAYO firm Pottery Industry (Pvt) Ltd recently ordered to pay $200 fine and also drill a borehole for the Belmont Industrial community after being convicted for discharging harmful chemicals into the city’s rivers has complied with the court order by paying $3 800 to the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) for the borehole.

BY SILAS NKALA

Bulawayo magistrate Charity Maphosa recently convicted Pottery Industry and ordered the company to pay $200 fine in addition to drilling the borehole for the community as compensation for the polluted water source.

The company which was represented by its top executive Tamuka Zinyengere and Bulawayo lawyer Leslie Sibanda were taken to court by EMA after it was discovered to be discharging chemicals that polluted Umguza and Matsheumhlope rivers.

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Following the court judgment Bulawayo EMA manager Descent Ndlovu yesterday said the company had complied with the order as it has paid the money for the drilling of the borehole in the affected area.

“Pottery Industry has since paid the money for the drilling of a borehole. It was $3 800,” he said.

Sometime in April last year, EMA officer, Kwanele Ndiweni, carried out inspections along Matsheumhlope River, which passes through Bulawayo’s industrial area and discovered that a storm drain passing next to Pottery Industry was contaminated by industrial effluent.

Further investigations revealed that Pottery Industry was illegally discharging effluent into the storm drain that feeds into Matsheumhlope River, which is a tributary of Umguza River, polluting it for a distance of about six kilometres.

Samples were collected and results from the EMA laboratory proved that of the 18 parameters analysed, 11 were beyond the permissible limits.

From results obtained, Pottery Industry was identified as carrying environmental pollutants found in Matsheumhlope River and was contributing 1% of the pollution in the stream.

During trial, it also emerged that Bulawayo City Council and other nine local companies contributed 99% of the pollution in the rivers and were yet to face litigation over the crimes.

The city council was said to be responsible for 90% of raw effluent discharged into the rivers, while nine other companies were responsible for 9% of the pollutants.

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