Monday, June 27, 2022

EMA fines Masvingo City Council, Delta for environment pollution

Melinda Kusemachibi

Following the death of fish highlighting the ignored plight of aquatic life in the country’s natural water sources as a result of human action, Environmental Management Agency(EMA) slapped Masvingo City Council (MCC) and Delta Beverages with level 14 (ZW$ 500 000) and 13 (ZW$ 300 000) fine tickets respectively.
EMA released a statement on June 3, 2022 confirming that council and Delta were responsible for disposal of harmful effluent into environment.
“Follow up inspections to check on the compliance of Masvingo City Council to the Environmental Protection Order (EP 0011377), which spelt out that the local authority had to repair Rujeko Pump Station, to ensure that the Biological Nutrient Removal Plant (BNRP) was working and to stop discharge of effluent into the environment by May 27 2022 was conducted.
“The inspections revealed that the local authority was behind the compliance timelines prescribed in the Environmental Protection Order. As a result of this, a level 14 ticket (No EP 014599) was issued to Masvingo City Council for the offence,” read part of the statement.
The statement also revealed that another source behind pollution of Mucheke River was Delta discharges hence it was fined a level 13 ticket.
“It was observed that another source of pollution in Mucheke River was emanating from Delta Beverages where an unregistered discharge point was eventually draining into the river. Rapid onsite water quality tests of the effluent from Delta Beverages were conducted and the tests revealed that the Dissolved Oxygen was 12.1% saturation (Red Class) which meant that the free oxygen available in the water body was at a critical point and was well below the permissible value of at least 50% saturation (Green Class).
“An Environmental Protection Order was resultantly served (0019751) to Delta Beverages for them to register the site and a level 13 ticket (No EP 014600) was issued for the offence,” added part of the statement.
EMA urged the industries to do pre-treatment facilities before discharging the effluent into the environment.
“As EMA we strongly advise and urge the industries which have effluent discharges to have pretreatment facilities before discharging into the environment and to be licensed by EMA which assists in monitoring and advising them on the best standard and prescribed practices which minimize and reduce environmental pollution,” read part of the statement.
However EMA Environmental Education and Publicity Officer Brian Makani could not reveal more details on the next course of action if the pollution continues and or deadlines for the ticket payments.
This is not the first time the city fathers were given a ticket by EMA.
The local authority released a statement on May 23, acknowledging responsibility over discharge of sewer though they maintained the causes were a result of vandalism on sewer reticulation infrastructure.

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