Heavy rains which are currently pounding Gweru have overwhelmed the city’s cemeteries where de-watering of graves has become a nightmare.
The revelations came out at a full council meeting held at Town House yesterday. Ward 11 councillor, Albert Chirau implored city management to urgently address the problem saying council workers and bereaved families were facing serious challenges when burying their loved ones.
“The problem that we are facing is that council is still using manual means to dig graves. Due to the rains, graves are being submerged. We do not have equipment to deal with the crisis,” he said.
“We have some chemicals that will be in the water and grave diggers use bare hands to dewater the graves. That situation exposes our workers to diseases,” added Chirau.
Councillor Trust Chineni weighed in saying some families were de-watering the graves on their own due to manpower shortages at the cemeteries.
“I saw some families using buckets to de-water graves manually. It does not augur well. Council needs to get modern machinery to deal with the problem,” he said. Mayor Josiah Makombe promised that council would swiftly deal with the problem.
“We are in the process of formulating the 2020 budget. Such a critical item of expenditure will need to be included. I understand we only have one machine for de-watering graves, but our cemeteries are many. Council will take measures to address that situation,” he said.
Last week council was found wanting after the rains also submerged the city’s drainage system, with motorists struggling to drive around town.