“Harare — Maria Saungweme, 42, an informal trader and single mother from the low-income suburb of Glen Norah in the Zimbabwean capital Harare, uses sewage-infested river water to irrigate her two-acre vegetable plot.
“I am not proud to say this, but I consider the sewage that is offloaded into the river a blessing because it makes my vegetables grow well and fast. I have been selling my vegetables to other vendors for years and am earning enough to take care of my children,” Saungweme told IRIN.
She said she had not received complaints from her customers, but admitted her family did not consume her produce, preferring instead to buy from other vendors.
Scientific research has found that consuming vegetables irrigated with sewage effluent carries health risks. A 2009 study by Jos University in Nigeria, published in the Annals of African Medicine, found that” “people consuming vegetables irrigated with raw waste water are exposed to the risk of infection with ascaris, amoeba and tapeworm.”
Read more: All Africa