By STEPHANIE KUNDA –
EIGHT landlords and a tenant of Lusaka have been apprehended by the Lusaka City Council (LCC) for allegedly discharging effluent into the open drainage being constructed by the Millennium Challenge Account – Zambia (MCAZ).
The nine, who include six males and three females, were picked up by alert council police officers on Monday around 10:00 hours.
“The suspects allegedly connected sewer pipes from their houses in Garden Township into the drainage currently under construction. The suspects, eight landlords and one tenant, said they were not aware that it was a crime to discharge sewer into the drains,” LCC acting public relations manager George Sichimba said in a statement yesterday.
The Bombay and Mazyopa drains are part of the US$355 million Lusaka Water Supply, Sanitation and Drainage (LWSSD) Project funded by the US government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Zambia.
Once complete, the drainage systems would help reduce annual flooding experienced in many parts of Lusaka.
Mr Sichimba said last year, the LCC recruited 30 security officers to help increase public awareness and cooperation in problematic areas along the Bombay drain to avoid blocking the drains.
Lusaka Town Clerk Alex Mwansa announced that the recruitment of the 30 officers would help enhance the policing aspect of the sensitisation exercise and to apprehend members of the public found abrogating the law.
Mr Mwansa said indiscriminate disposal of solid waste was an offence under Chapter 100 of the Local Government Act Cap 281 and Statutory Instrument number 125 of 2001 on hazardous waste management regulations which also encompasses the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act number 12 of 1990.
He said the MCA-Zambia project complemented the Government’s efforts of mitigating perennial flooding, which had largely focused on the construction of secondary drains in the city of Lusaka.
Mr Mwansa said residents should ensure that they subscribe to the waste management system and avoid littering and indiscriminate disposal of waste and discharge of sewer effluent into the drains that may lead to outbreaks of water and airborne diseases such as cholera, dysentery and diarrhoea.
He said this could also pose a risk to infrastructure such as drains as most of the solid waste ended up in the drainage, leading to blockages, which in turn reduced their efficiency and life span.