By Jermaine Ndlovu
Bulawayo, March 02, 2016 – TRAGEDY struck a city family whose 10 year old child drowned in a heavily polluted Khami Dam in the country’s second largest city.
The deceased was identified as Lynn Dube, a pupil at Dumezweni primary school in Pumula South.
Family spokesperson Titus Dube, uncle to the deceased, confirmed the incident.
“It’s a sad development, the boy has been missing since yesterday (Monday) and now we find him dead.
“The minor left in the afternoon with his three friends saying they were going to play and never came back. Only to find out now that they had gone for fishing at Khami Dam.
“They were using empty 5 litre containers to catch fish when his own container suddenly went away with the water and as he drowned when he tried to follow it. He had no swimming skills.
“His three friends kept it a secret for the whole night before one of them finally confessed to their class teacher that their friend had drowned yesterday,” said Dube.
Dube added that the relevant authorities should make efforts to protect residents especially kids from the dangers of Khami Dam.
“Khami Dam is a dangerous spot and I wish the city council could make an effort in protecting the lives and health of residents from the dangers caused by the dam which has been left idle.
“Something should be done about that dam if the council can erect a fence that will prevent the children from gaining access, the better; now we have unnecessary death situations like that.”
When contacted for comment Police officers from Pumula police station were not at liberty to comment on the issue.
Mourners are gathered at number 13715 Pumula South, Bulawayo.
Khami Dam is full but heavily contaminated with sewage and industrial waste deposit.
The dam was decommissioned in 1988 and efforts to recycle the water were raised by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority in 2007 but Bulawayo residents rejected the proposal.
However, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) was this year granted permission by the Bulawayo City Council to use water from the dam for its boilers at the Bulawayo power station.
In a council report, the Acting Director of Engineering Services, Wisdom Siziba endorsed that ZPC be granted permission to use the water and ZPC would rehabilitate Khami Water Treatment Plant but the dam would remain under BCC.
“The infrastructure remains under BBC and the council should have full authority over the treated water and reserves to supply any excess water to other applicants,” reads the report.