BY WILLIAM MILASI
Farmers in Sherwood have complained that their horticulture produce is being rejected in Europe.
The farmers rely on Sebakwe Dam which is suspected to be contaminated for the irrigation of their produce.
Environmental Management Agency (EMA) told journalists this week that farmers have lodged a complaint.
“As EMA we received complaints by farmers using Sebakwe River for irrigation who had started noticing plant diseases which had previously been unknown in the area. Fungal diseases were noticed on horticulture crops and attributed to the use of contaminated water,” EMA Midlands Provincial spokesperson Simon Musasiwa said.
Another official from the agency said farmers are now complaining that produce which they export to Europe is now being rejected.
“Farmers have raised concerns that their horticulture produce which they export in Europe is now being rejected because it has lost its quality,” the official said.
The contamination of the water body has also raised health concerns for people who rely on Sebakwe as a water source.
Musasiwa has advised farmers to take water samples for analysis should they suspect contamination by any external sources of pollution be it chemical spillages or sewage.
“Untreated sewage being discharged into the environment has the potential to pollute any receiving waters thereby causing problems such as algal blooms, fish deaths, diseases lie typhoid and cholera, and the reduction of the quality of the receiving waters can affect agriculture by introducing plant diseases that reduce the value of crops grown.
“The palatability and usability of water contaminated with untreated sewage water is greatly reduced thus negatively impacting on any economic activities that can be carried out on said water body,” Musasiwa said.
Authorities from Kwekwe City Council have said artisanal miners have been vandalizing sewer lines in their gold mining processes.
Assistant Director of Works John Muzata said the local authority have been repairing the vandalized lines to no avail.
“We are always repairing the vandalized sewer lines to no avail. The gold miners always find a way of vandalizing the lines. They prefer sewer water than pure water which is a seriuos problem,” Muzata said.
Kwekwe Mayor Angeline Kasipo has said a solution needs to be expeditiously sought.
“We must find a sustainable solution to this problem. There is need to engage every stakeholders especially those in the mining sector,” she said.