Dampness and smell not a health hazard?

2016-12-08 06:01
=Only this vibracrete wall is protecting the property in Valleisig from being flushed by stinking water.      Photo: HEILIE COMBRINCK

=Only this vibracrete wall is protecting the property in Valleisig from being flushed by stinking water. Photo: HEILIE COMBRINCK

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For a property owner in Valleisig it is like being between the devil and the deep blue sea, with only a vibracrete wall preventing their yard being flooded with stinking water.

“The smell is absolutely horrible. I have been sitting with this mess next to my house for the past 20 months. I’ve lodged numerous calls and e-mails with no positive outcome,” said Rene Berry, owner of the property in Adriaan Street, Uitenhage.

She started reporting the water leak during March 2015. On Wednesday, 24th June 2015, Berry received an e-mail from the Department of Water and Sanitation, indicating that “Acting Assistant Superintendent Mr Brookes advised that he will be investigating the leak.”

According to Berry the situation remained unchanged with their property wall being damaged owing to the permanent dampness.

“All I later received from the water leaks department is that the complaint has been re-escalated to Cuyler depot.

“This whilst e-mails and reference numbers regarding this leak are also escalating. Everything is escalating, so is my impatience as well.

“I have been to the environmental health officers as I really think this is a health hazard. Apart from the stench there are mosquitoes, and the bird nests in the reeds attract snakes. I was told by environmental officers that it is not sewerage water, thus it is not a health hazard,” said Berry.

Local councillor Kenneth Kohl also intervened but with no positive outcome.

On Friday, 25th September 2015 Berry received another e-mail from the waterleaks@mandelametro.gov.za saying “the complaint has [once again] been escalated to Cuyler depot for action with a reference number 766875.”

It is heading towards two years since Berry started reporting the water leak next to her property. The situation remains unchanged.

“We are desperate. You can see the constant dampness and water is affecting our boundary wall. Next will be our property.

“This is not the kind of living conditions in which anyone would like to live. Why should we just accept it?” said Berry.

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