Blocked sewage central to calls to vacate smelly Blowi

2016-05-12 06:00
Mzamo Ngungu, chairperson for street committee, in Blowi, SST Section, Khayelitsha, appeals to authorities to move them to another area which will not have drain blockages.   PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

Mzamo Ngungu, chairperson for street committee, in Blowi, SST Section, Khayelitsha, appeals to authorities to move them to another area which will not have drain blockages. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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A spate of drain blockages has seen residents of Blowi in SST informal settlement speaking with one voice and appealling to be moved elsewhere.

The latest incident, on Friday morning, saw a stretch of a gravel street being flooded with sewage after two mains burst at the seams, releasing sewerage on the streets.

Mzamo Ngungu, chairperson of the street committee, said they have approached councillor Amos Komeni, of Ward 93, who bought into their idea of finding them a suitable area to live.

Ngungu said there is a pending meeting with the Law Enforcement which they believe will give direction to their plea.

“We want to be moved to an area which will not have blockages.

Some of us have tried to move to new spots, but the Law Enforcement would come and demolish those shacks. We want to reach an agreement which will see us being moved from here. The drains block every now and then,”

Nowami Mfana, 58, a resident, said the blockages badly affect them.

“The smell is so terrible that we cannot even eat. We have small children who become sick because of the blockages.

We no longer want handouts for food and blankets from the Disaster (and Risk) Management, but to be moved from this area. We are going to protest now if they do not want to listen to us.

Sometimes all three drains here block at the same time. It becomes a river on the street,” Mfana said.

Komeni said he has been trying for a long time to negotiate with the City of Cape Town to move the residents, but he was told that there is no space available for them.

“Moving them to another area could be the solution. There is no way that we can block the movement of our people when they live in such a bad condition like that,” he said.

He said there are about 1500 residents in the area alone who get affected by the drain when it blocks. Komeni also said residents at BMC Section are also facing the similar situation.

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