New Zimbabwe (London)

Zimbabwe: Kariba Residents Resort to Bush Toileting

ANTIQUATED and not-fit-for-purpose toilet facilities at the Kariba Dam construction camp sites are forcing residents to relieve themselves in nearby bushes, exposing the giant lake to human pollution.

The construction camp, located on the dam's Mahombekombe shoreline, was only intended as temporary bachelor structures for the dam's builders but they are now home to thousands of people in the resort town.

The houses have become virtually uninhabitable and even dangerous to live in as most have developed serious cracks and various other defects.

The communal ablution facilities are no longer functioning properly with more than 100 people at one camp site sharing two squatting holes and a single shower.

"Most of the residents here have now resorted to relieving themselves in bushes because the toilets are horrible. It is embarrassing to queue to relieve ourselves as well as to bath in full view of members of the public," said a resident at Umtali block who only identified herself as Mai Seremana.

Another resident at Ndola block, Lameck Zolo, described the situation at the camp as depressing.

"People are now in serious danger of being attacked by wild animals and sexually abused while relieving them in the bushes. Our houses and toilets are no longer fit for human habitation. The houses have developed major cracks and we are no longer enjoying privacy," said Zolo.

Assistant director of housing and community for the town, Maxwell Chipepe said the camps were never meant to exist after the construction of the dam.

"Council is aware of the Mahombekombe residents' problems but no one ever thought that in 2014 the township would still exist," said Chipepe in an interview with New Zimbabwe.com.

"Apart from that these people should be removed from the shoreline because they are staying under a 330 KV power line which is very dangerous."

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