POOR water treatment processes and lack of due diligence coupled with the use of obsolete water treatment methods by local authorities, mostly urban councils, has caused the surge in cancer cases in the country as carcinogens that stimulate cancer escape water treatment processes.
Chemical experts have alleged the dire situation is also being worsened by some bottled water and drinks that are not being properly inspected which find their way to the market.
According to the experts, there is a need for most urban councils to change their technology and employ more chemists in the water treatment processes.
In an interview on the sidelines of a meeting of Zimbabwe Chemical Society in Gweru, the society’s registrar and founding executive president, Mr Fastino Madzima, said most urban councils were using water treatment designs and technologies that were set up in the 1950s and are not effectively treating water.
Mr Madzima said most carcinogens were escaping water treatment processes.
“Most of the water that we drink is not properly treated. Some carcinogens are escaping the water treatment processes and this is why we are having more cancer cases, mostly in towns and cities.
We have challenges in water treatment which has been much talked about. Chemists started to talk about it and researches are being done through the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development,” he said.
Said Mr Madzima: “At the moment the pollution has reached alarming levels and again there are solutions that are being offered.
“In order for us to get clean water there is a need for the involvement of chemists. Chemists have the capacity to remove the pollutants. So only chemists can remove the pollutants because the pollutants are chemicals.
“At the moment we have a number of researches that we did in terms of the removal of the pollutants if you want to do feasibility studies to establish whether the current water treatment processes are effective.
“Some of the water treatment processes being implemented at the moment and even the chemicals were used in the 1950s thereabout,” he said.
Mr Madzima said if local authorities want to effectively address the water challenges they need to change technology.
“At the moment people are complaining that the water is salty. The problem is on the technologies that are being used.
Nanoparticles escape through the water treatment plant even if we put chemicals and chlorine we need to change the technology and that can be done by chemists,” he said.