Lusaka City Council acting Public Relations Manager George Sichimba says the local authority has apprehended nine people for discharging effluent into an open drainage being constructed in Garden Township.

In a statement today, Sichimba said that the suspects who include eight landlords and one tenant had connected sewer lines from their houses to the drainage which is being constructed by Millennium Challenge Account (MCA).

“The nine who include six males and three females were picked up by alert Council Police officers on Monday, 25th September, 2017 around 10:00 hours. The suspects have alleged 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,” stated Sichimba.

The Bombay and Mazyopa drains are part of the $355 million Lusaka water supply, sanitation and drainage Project funded by the U.S. government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in partnership with the Zambian government.

And once completed, the drainages will help reduce annual flooding experienced in many parts of Lusaka.

LCC recruited 30 council security officers last year to help increase public awareness and cooperation in problematic areas along the Bombay drain to avoid blocking the drains.

Meanwhile, Sichimba stated that LCC Town Clerk, Alex Mwansa who announced the recruitment of the 30 officers, expressed confidence that the officers would help in enhancing the policing of sensitisation exercise and to apprehend members of the public found abrogating the law.

“Indiscriminate disposal of solid waste is an offence under Chapter 100 of the Local Government Act Cap 281 and Statutory Instrument No.125 of 2001 on hazardous waste management regulations which also encompasses the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act No 12 of 1990. Therefore, Council security officers are expected to apprehend culprits who will be found dumping refuse and bring them to the Civic Centre for prosecution,” Sichimba quoted Mwansa as saying.

Sichimba also appealed to the public to avoid littering and indiscriminate disposal of waste and discharge of effluent into drains to avoid outbreaks of water and airborne diseases.

“The MCA-Zambia project complements Government’s efforts of mitigating perennial flooding, which have largely focused on construction of secondary drains in the city of Lusaka. 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. This may also pose a risk to infrastructure such as drains as most of the solid waste which ends up in the drainages leads to blockages which in turn reduce their efficiency and life span,” stated Sichimba.