Happy Valley : ‘Fed up with living in filth’

2011-04-11 00:00

THE community of Happy Valley in Woodlands (Ward 32) is fed up with living in an unhygienic environment infested with the stench of faeces from blocked sewers that have been poorly maintained for the past three years.

Conditions have deteriorated to the extent that a blocked sewer has created a pool of waste along the railway line neighbouring the Maphumulo, Zondi and Ndlovu families.

Resident Thandi Maphumulo said their cries for help to Msunduzi Municipality over the past three years have not been heeded.

She said the problem started when the municipality cancelled funding for the community-based maintenance (CBM) project, which had even won a national award for keeping their area clean.

“I was the chairperson of the CBM and when we ran that project we never used to experience these problems, because we ensured cleanliness in our area,” said Maphumulo.

“As a result of this unhygienic environment, our children have respiratory associated diseases and we are now forced to stop them from playing outside.”

Maphumulo said the area is also infested with mosquitoes.

Her daughter Nontokozo said, “I have been diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) and was told at the clinic that my sickness has to do with living in a place that is a health hazard. I can’t even work because I have to nurse my condition.”

Community members said they not going to vote for the ANC because they neglected their community.

Ward 32 councillor Patrick Moon said, “I have been trying to get the municipality to do something about this matter for the past two years, but they have not helped.”

He said he fought with the municipality to continue funding the CBM, to no avail.

“I even spoke to Johann Mettler to allocate some funding just to get this problem sorted out. As a result of the lack of funding the area has deteriorated, there is no proper collection of waste, verges are overgrown and we have a general problem with poor maintenance in the area,” added Moon.

Msunduzi spokesperson Brian Zuma said, “We are aware of the problem, but it is not like we have not been responding to it. The problem is that our people find foreign objects like newspapers and rocks in sewer mains.”

He said they have prioritised for the new financial year to redirect the sewer mains so that, in an event where blockages occur, it takes place away from the residential area.

“We will attend to the current blockage as we normally do, because it is against the health regulations,” he added.

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