By Zumani Katasefa
EARTH ZAMBIA Executive Director Lovemore Muma has said that sewerage water pollution is becoming a major problem in Zambia and is perpetuated mostly by water utility companies.
In a press statement issued to UKZAMBIANS Muma said companies are in most instances discharging sewerage water way above the statutory limits while in other instances they are draining law sewage water into rivers without treatment.
“This careless disposal of sewage water by water utility companies is leading to a chain of problems, such as spreading of diseases, increase in Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), For example Nkana water and Sewerage company discharges at its Chambishi Ponds, Total Califorms of 74,625 N/100m/s when the statutory limits is 25,000 N/100m/. Feacal Colifroms of 9,858 N/100m/s when the limit is 5000 N/100m/ at the Nkana East Sewerage Works it discharges 75,3333 N/100m/s Total Califorms when the limit is 25,000 N/100m/, Feacal Coliforms discharged 12.654 N/100m/s when the limit is 5000 N/100m/ so you can see that the actual discharge is way too high and if you check at Kalulushi lift pump station no.1 Nkana Water and Sewerage is discharging raw sewerage in to the natural stream and this stream flow through the town this unacceptable and a receipt for out breaks of water bone disease,” he stated.
Mr Muma said in Ndola raw sewerage is drained into the Kafubu River at the Itawa Sewerage Pump Station and at the Dambo Sewerage Pump Station while the discharge at Kanini and Lubuto sewerage treatment plants is way above the statutory limits.
“If you look at the state of the water, in the Kafubu River, it deteriorates just after the Itawa Sewerage Pump Station so Kafubu Water is responsible and should take responsibility and do a remediation in order to restore the ecosystem of the Kafubu River down stream which has been destroyed by raw sewerage discharge.
The effluents contain innumerable pathogens and harmful chemicals. The detergents that release phosphates in water help the growth of algae and water hyacinths. The pathogens contained in the sewage water spread many diseases stagnant water fosters the growth of mosquitoes which cause malaria, another disease that spreads through contaminated water is typhoid,” Mr Mwila said.
He said excessive deposition of chemical nutrients in water bodies created by sewage water pollution degrades the quality of water and reduces the number of fauna and increase in Biological Oxygen Demand. The toxins released into the rivers through sewage water are consumed by fishes and other organisms, thus increasing the possibility of these toxins entering the food chain.
Mr Muma further stated that water bodies in their natural form contain chemical compounds such as the bicarbonates, nitrates, chlorides, sulphates and many more others.
HE however, said various problems arise with the increase in the amount of these compounds.
“The water becomes unsuitable for drinking and irrigation.
We have made an assessment of the damage caused to the fauna, flora and the communities. It can not be over emphased that the rivers and streams are a source of drinking water to the community down stream. We have reached an advanced stage in the gatherings of evidence so that we could officially launch a complaint against the sewerage pollution with the Zambia Police this is for possible criminal prosecution of the directors of these utility companies under the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act and also take legal action against the utility companies for compensation of communities affected and remediation of the ecosystem destroyed by sewerage pollution” he said