Mwenezi Livestock Relies On Untreated Sewage For Two Decades
24 August 2021
Livestock from communities around Rutenga Growth Point has for the past two decades been drinking from sewage ponds, a problem which has been said to be causing poor meat quality by local farmers.
Cattle, donkeys and goats in Mwenezi East from wards as far as Wards 13 and parts of 14 have been consuming raw sewer from the expanding Rutenga Growth Point's uncovered sewer ponds.
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The ponds which are located about two kilometres away from the growth point are the major source of water for livestock due to the lack of cleaner sources of water.
Before the land reform programme, the livestock used to drink from local small dams which were built by evicted white farmers but water pumps and several farm properties were stolen with some vandalised at the height of the chaotic land resettlement programme.
Ward 18 Councilor, Albert Mashiri whose area covers Rutenga Growth Point acknowledged that raw sewer has been the source of drinking water for livestock in the area. Said Mashiri:
It’s unhealthy for domestic animals to consume such water but it's unfortunate that for many years now livestock here has been relying on raw sewer from the growth points' sewage ponds.
As part of efforts to make sure that locals keep away their livestock from roaming around the growth point and areas near the sewage ponds, the local authority has constructed a cattle pen and livestock which will be found roaming around the growth point will be seized and dealt with according to the local authority's by-law.
Local farmers told TellZim News that the lack of alternative safe water sources is forcing locals to let their animals drink the raw sewer.
According to Alois Moyo, a farmer from Ward 13's Mariot Ranch area, the sewer water has compromised the quality of the meat their livestock produce. He said:
Many of us are aware that it's unhealthy for our animals to drink raw sewer but we do not have any other option because we do not have a sustainable dam in our area.
The quality of meat of a domestic animal that consumes raw sewage is not that appealing. The offals are difficult if not impossible for human consumption.
In the event that one cooks the offals, there is a greenish element that remains on the relish even after fully preparing the meat. This makes it difficult to consume.
More: TellZim News