Rugare suburb, located about 8 km south west of the central business district, is perhaps one of the oldest high-density suburbs of Harare. The suburb as of late has joined in on the woes of areas such as Chitungwiza’s Unit O due to the raw sewage flowing into the streets.
One of the most affected sections of Rugare is Makoni street. The street houses the police station which shares a border wall with Rugare Primary School. A mere 20 metres away the offscouring stream trickles with the stench populating the air. The exact source of the flowing raw sewer is not clear but its impact has been severe. Some residents have had to resort to makeshift bridges in order to move from their houses to the street with lesser chances of stepping into the sewer.
Despite the health hazard looming in a city that suffered a scourge of cholera barely 7 months ago, close by, residents sit and enjoy their conversation accompanied by a cold beverage. It is the little children that stand up-front, closest to the danger of contracting water-borne diseases as they play on the streets, running and skipping over the sewage.
One of the residents, a young man who referred to himself as Clever, said that they had gotten used to it and they had no choice but to accept it as a normal feature. Without readily available clean tap running water, the fear of the return of cholera comes to mind.
As schools are set to take the first break of 2019 later on this week, children are at a greater risk of coming into contact with the fatal green rivers running through their neighborhoods. A thorough check on the source of water, the treatment of drinking either by boiling or pills and general avoidance of sewage prone spots is an essential need. However, with the sewer knocking at one’s door, the fear of it flowing directly into the house looms.