Residents’ health at risk

2020-04-15 06:00
The grim reality facing residents of the Caleb Motshabi settlement in Bloemfontein. Children play in waterlogged streets on Wednesday (08/04) while adults return from fetching water. Photo: Teboho Setena

The grim reality facing residents of the Caleb Motshabi settlement in Bloemfontein. Children play in waterlogged streets on Wednesday (08/04) while adults return from fetching water. Photo: Teboho Setena

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Despite the national lockdown imposed by the government in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, it is business as usual for scores of residents of the Caleb Motshabi informal settlement in Bloemfontein.

Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa called on people to stay at home for the duration of the lockdown, which has been extended to 30 April.

Unless they have to buy food or medicine or receive their grant money, this call confines people to their yards.

. However, provision has been made for adults to only leave their houses to attend to important tasks like buying groceries or going to the pharmacy.

Yet in this settlement, the threat of being infected with the virus seems to be the least of residents’ worries any other illness doesn’t seem like something that is bothering residents from this settlement.

Scores of children play in the streets and close to these hazardous waste dumping sites.

Even residents who stay permanent structures dispose of waste at these open spaces.

Playing in the streets amid scattered waste is the grim reality and near health hazardous areas where waste is scattered is the grim reality faced by children living in the shack dwellings of this settlement.

Almost every available playing spot is covered with heaps of waste, and residents must daily endure the foul smell of waste rotting in the sun.

Even areas meant for recreational purposes, such as parks, have morphed into dumps where residents dispose of their waste.

what could be recreational areas like a park is covered with waste. Having no decent space to play, tens of children are spotted playing in the streets and spaces where waste is disposed of by residents.

While good hygiene is believed to be one of the best ways to fend off the virus, residents have to fetch water from communal taps and the water tanks made available by the the government in the wake of the national outbreak of Covid-19.

As there is no running water, pit toilets have been erected within the yards of their multiple-shack dwellings, pit toilets have been erected which the occupants have created to respond to natures.

Occupants have erected these toilets not far from the main dwelling structures .

Both young and adults utilise these pit-hole toilets as there is no running water.

Occupants are also awaiting the possible allocation of houses and sites where they can stay permanently.

. ident that everyone must stay at home during this period.

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