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Rural Planning

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Zimbabwe: Water Quality Supplies Fast Deteriorating

The Herald (Harare)

By Sifelani Tsiko
Harare
THE pollution of rivers, lakes and aquifers from domestic and industrial wastewater discharges, mining runoff, agro-chemicals and other sources is now a growing threat to water resources in most countries in southern Africa.
According to a new report titled "Water Quality Management and Pollution Control" in Southern Africa compiled by Prof Ngonidzashe Moyo, a freshwater biologist at the University of Limpopo in South Africa, and Sibekhile Mtetwa and other water resources development experts, the quality of water supplies in the Sadc region, once taken for granted, is becoming the focus of increasing concern.
The water experts say the solid, liquid and particulate waste by-products of urbanisation and economic activities are contaminating air, soil and water quality.
Water pollution has affected water quality and impacted negatively on public health and functioning of ecosystems including the rising cost of water treatment.
The report suggests that the main sources of water pollution are untreated or partially treated effluents from municipal, industrial and mining wastewater discharges.
Runoff from small-scale mining operations, urban stormwater and runoff from agricultural, livestock and poultry operations have also impaired the quality of water in the Sadc region.
In Zimbabwe, the discharge of industrial and municipal effluent has heavily polluted Lake Chivero, Harare's principal water supply dam, leading to massive fish deaths in the lake.
Because of poor original planning, Harare lies within its own catchment area. This means that all the city's waste, which passes through the heavily industrialised and densely populated areas, flows into the lake.
This has compromised the quality of the city's water and contributed to the accumulation of ammonia compounds that…...

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