Residents in Mufakose and Granary Park are making use of discharged sewage waste for agricultural purposes which they are selling as manure for gardening purposes.
ZimSentinel observed the development after a brief tour of the two locations in “Kwamazai”, where sewage is discharged in Mufakose.
Approaching the location, the atmosphere really changed, the air was foul, it had a stench of sewage and most people cover their noses
A boy seated next to me in the kombi laughed before he shockingly looked at me and asked if I was a Granary Park resident. After telling him that I was just a visitor, he started narrating the sewage story.
He said the residents were now used to the stench which he said came from discharged sewer in Mufakose, a nearby location. He added the area was nicknamed “Kwamazai” because of the smell that resembles fried eggs.
He also mentioned the sewage was only harming them when it came to the stench and bringing mosquitoes, however, the residents were making money out of the poo as it is good manure.
With that said, he reached his destination and he was gone, leaving me with many questions and with curiosity, I visited the site.
Evergreen vegetables and maize crops welcomed my eyes before I even noticed that I was walking on top of dry smelly sewage, which was all over the soft ground and I feared I was going to leave my shoes stuck in the damp.
The greenish nature surprised me because I had not seen any sign of rainfall in that area or irrigation. Touring the place I met a man, Zvomukati, who told me that he and many others were making money through farming and they used the dry sewage manure, while using the effluent to irrigate their crops.
Zvomukati said he was making money from selling vegetables to women from all over Harare who would resale in their own suburbs. He was confident that he would start selling green mealies in January
Zvomukati said he do not see any problem with the sewage because it was his source of income in the current economic conditions.
ZimSentinel also observed that a lot of Granary residents collected the poo using sacks, wheelbarrows and small carts to their homes, where they also grow vegetables.
There were many children and women digging the waste. Theresa Shumba said: “Every weekend we come here with our children to collect manure to put in our garden, because we can’t afford purchasing vegetables everyday”.
Chipo Chirere also said the sewage was not harmful to their health because they “have been relying on it for longtime, but still remain healthy.”
She added also said during the first days, she used to put plastic papers on her hands while collecting manure but now she was used to it. Chirere these days sometime brings her food and can eat while resting from working at the site.
Urban farming is prevalent in Mufakose and Granary Park, with vegetables growing on roads sides, along drainage canals and in the yards.