Sewage bane of residents’ lives

2015-06-24 06:00
THE yard of this house in Thabong, Welkom, is overrun with se-wage due to a blocked manhole.

THE yard of this house in Thabong, Welkom, is overrun with se-wage due to a blocked manhole.

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THE Matjhabeng Local Municipality blames the mayhem caused by the spillage of raw sewage into residents’ yards and streets on a blocked pump station and load shedding.

This followed numerous complaints by scores of residents in Thabong East, Welkom, that they were at risk of contracting a number of illnesses due to the unhygienic conditions they have to live under.

A number of houses situated along Constantia Road in Thabong East were surrounded by pools of raw sewage exposing occupants to hazardous conditions. One of the manholes was apparently blocked causing havoc with raw sewage running into the streets. The manhole is situated in the yard of Hilda Moopela, who complained about what it is like to live with the near-constant stench and difficulty she and her neighbours experience when the manhole is blocked.

“It is difficult to access our houses, cook, use toilets and bathrooms because the dirty water does not flow out.

“We sometimes have to bear the smell for days, weeks even a month before it is fixed,” says Moopela.

Moopela says her two-month-old granddaughter has become a casualty of the raw spillage pool in her yard. “The child was admitted to hospital and the doctor reported that she had a lung infection. I for one, have chronic illnesses and also suffer from arthritis,” says Moopela.

Residents complain bitterly about the municipality’s enginee-ring department’s apparent slow reaction to complaints after they reported such cases.

Bayo Majoro, spokesperson of the Matjhabeng Local Municipality, says workers at the engineering department were expected to respond within 48 hours after receiving reports relating to blocked sewerage pipes or manholes.

Majoro says recent cases of blocked manholes resulting in spillages of raw sewerage was due to a blocked pump station, adding that current disruptions of power supply due to load-shedding was contributing to the problem of the pump-station malfunctioning.

While residents say the municipality sends people to unblock manholes, they, however, continue to leak sewage leaving them trapped in pools of raw sewerage for weeks or longer.

Majoro says residents are advised to keep reference numbers of each case and date after repor-ting such cases. Residents can also call 057-916-4001 to report cases relating to blocked sewerage pipes or manholes

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