By A Correspondent | ZimEye | Sandra Mazvita Pamberi, the whistleblower who boldly exposed the concerning activities of Adela Contracting, appeared in court amidst escalating public health concerns.
In a pivotal court session before Harare magistrate Appollonia Marutya, Pamberi was not asked to plead but was granted bail set at US$100. The magistrate’s decision to impose conditions, including the directive not to interfere with witnesses, highlights the case’s critical nature.
Despite the company’s denial of distributing sewage water, their own admission of using clearly contaminated stream water for road construction has raised serious alarms, particularly in the context of the ongoing cholera pandemic.
Adela Contracting’s acknowledgement of drawing water from shallow, potentially contaminated streams for road construction starkly contrasts their denial of distributing sewage water. This admission is significant, as it directly indicates the use of pathogen-laden water for public roadworks, a practice that inadvertently spreads cholera.
In this light, Adela Contracting has broken the law.
Cholera, a disease often linked to inadequate water treatment, poor sanitation, and hygiene, thrives in environments like brackish rivers and coastal waters. The bacteria responsible for cholera can persist in such conditions, and activities like using contaminated water for road construction could facilitate the spread of the disease. The fact that shellfish from these waters, when consumed raw, have been a source of infection further underscores the potential risk posed by such practices.
The revelation by Pamberi about Adela Contracting’s use of possibly cholera-contaminated water for road construction has thus ignited a public health debate. It underscores the critical need for strict adherence to safe water practices, especially during cholera outbreaks. As the legal proceedings against Pamberi progress, the focus remains intensely on the broader issue of corporate responsibility in public health and the potential consequences of using contaminated water in public infrastructure projects.
Adela Contracting Broke The Law.
Adela Contracting’s admission that it is using water from shallow streams for road construction, shows that it is the one that should be in the dock. By acknowledging this practice, the company has potentially admitted to violating environmental laws, specifically the Environmental Management (Hazardous Substances, Pesticides and other Toxic Substances) Regulations, 2007. This breach could lead to significant consequences, including imprisonment for its directors.
Under Chapter 20:27 of the aforementioned regulations, any person or entity dealing with hazardous substances is required to notify the Licensing Officer. This includes those who import, manufacture, store, or sell hazardous substances listed in the Third Schedule. They must apply for a license and pay the prescribed fee. Failure to comply with these regulations is considered an offense, punishable by a fine not exceeding level three, imprisonment not exceeding one month, or both.
Adela Contracting’s use of water from shallow streams raises concerns about potential contamination and public health risks, especially during the current cholera outbreak. If this water is deemed a hazardous substance under the regulations, the company’s failure to comply with the necessary licensing and notification requirements could be a serious legal violation.
The implications of this revelation are significant. Not only does it highlight potential public health risks associated with the company’s practices, but it also brings to light the importance of regulatory compliance in environmental and public health protection. The directors of Adela Contracting now face the possibility of legal action, including imprisonment, for their role in this situation.
This development serves as a stark reminder of the responsibilities that companies have in adhering to environmental laws, particularly when public health is at risk. As the situation unfolds, the actions of Adela Contracting will be closely scrutinized, and the potential legal repercussions they face could set a precedent for how similar cases are handled in the future. – ZimEye