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Exhumed corpses worry Matero residents


LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes

RESIDENTS of Matero North who live near Chingwere cemetery have complained of poor drainage system in the area which is eroding the nearby cemetery thereby exhuming dead bodies.
The residents complained that because of the heavy rains over the past years, the drainage system had been completely eroded, posing serious health challenges
In an interview with the Sun, one of the residents Faith Zimuka said people face serious health challenges during the rainy seasons because heavy rains flooded their homes and human remains were brought to surface.
“Those of us who live near the graveyard here in Matero North we have a big challenge whenever there is a heavy down pour because our drainage is small and carries too much water which consequently floods our homes while human remains are brought to the surface such as coffins, clothes and bones of the deceased which grace our yards,” she said.
Ms Zimuka also complained that residents in the area were in the bad habit of throwing garbage in the drainage, thereby aggravating the situation.
Another resident only identified as Ms Phiri said when it rained water from the National Heroes Stadium came with a lot of force resulting in the drainage flooding fast and letting water to reach homes as it also eroded the graveyard.
Ms Phiri said if the situation was not controlled soon, homes would also be washed away.
“We are appealing to government to create a proper drainage system for us; we are now living in fear because this place is a danger to us and our children,” she said.
Meanwhile, Lusaka City Council (LCC), acting director of public health, Edgar Mulwanda said the council was aware of the challenges that the residents were facing and that the Engineering department was on the ground to resolve the matter as a contractor was already on site to work on the drainage and expand it.
Mr Mulwanda said the entire drainage system was stretching slightly over 1.5 km and the contractor was working around the clock to finish the job.
He further said the 13 human remains, which were exhumed by storm on Wednesday, would be re-buried on Tuesday next week.
“The exercise could not be done because the remains are still submerged in water. The re-burying of the exposed human remains will be done on Tuesday next week to allow water to ebb,” he said.
Mr Mulwanda urged Lusaka residents to follow the right procedure when buying land to avoid getting in areas not designated for human living.
“From the public health point of view we would like to ask the residents of Lusaka that when they want land they should follow the right procedure because we are dealing with issues of public health.
“We are also looking at the moral aspect of how people should retrain themselves from buying land in areas very close to the gravesite because when it rains human remains come out posing a serious health hazard,” said Mr Mulwanda

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