A report by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) says that water in Harare should not be consumed without precautions regardless of the source of water.EMA warned people to be particularly cautious of water from boreholes as most of it is contaminated, some with faecal matter, some with decomposing matter from cemeteries.
EMA also warned people to stop buying water from water vendors in the city as the water could have been bottled using contaminated source.
EMA spokesperson Steady Kangata spoke to the Sunday Mail and said:
We have surveyed places like Hopley, Budiriro and Kambuzuma and from our surveillance, we have established faecal contamination of boreholes. Most of these water sources have sewer bases; so contamination is at the point of extraction.
People should boil water at the point of use, especially those who buy bulk water to fill their tanks. Most people think public boreholes are the ones that are contaminated, but private ones, too, should equally be monitored so that the quality of their water is known.
If water is not potable, then use it for other purposes like laundry or irrigation. In Hopley, for instance, one finds that some houses are close to cemeteries where a grave can be as close as five metres from homes, and all that decomposition affects water.
We are saying people should be more cautious, and this also means stopping this habit of buying water at road intersections because no one knows where that water would have come from.
There have been reports of typhoid in Harare and two weeks back Health Minister David Parirenyatwa claimed that 95% of borehole water in the low-density areas was contaminated.
More: Sunday Mail