The Sunday Mail
MORE than 200 sewer cast iron manhole lids have been stolen at different households in Chitungwiza by metal scavengers this year, while at least 50 more across the dormitory suburb have been left vandalised.
The lids are said to be sold to scrap metal dealers at Mbare’s Magaba area, Chikwanha in Chitungwiza and at Highfield’s Gazaland.
Speaking to The Sunday Mail Online, Chitungwiza Municipality spokesperson Lovemore Meya said the worrying trend is exposing communities to the dangers associated with living with uncovered main holes.
Further, he said the trend is also crippling the already financially struggling council as they have to replace lids.
“The figures are worryingly increasing everyday as new reports continue to come,” said Meya.
“The vandalism has left the public, especially children, exposed to the dangers of disease outbreaks, losing lives or their limbs in the event that they fall into the manholes.
“This has left us without choice but to act as soon as a report comes in.”
Meya added that the Council is now forced to avoid the cast iron lids, resorting to casting and buying those made out of concrete.
He urged residents to jealously guard their lids considering that the replacement exercise is costly.
Council property has over the recent past become a huge target for criminal elements.
In the past years, the criminals used to steal brass water meters which led the Municipality to switch to plastic meters.
Recently, some community soccer pitches and netball have had their goal posts hacked by these criminals who later sell the property to scrap metal dealers.
Bridges in various communities have also been stripped of all safety metal barricades.