Sewage overflowing in Imbali

2019-03-06 06:00
PHOTO: lethiwe makhanyaPhindile Mkhize says the sewage flows through her yard when it rains.

PHOTO: lethiwe makhanyaPhindile Mkhize says the sewage flows through her yard when it rains.

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IMBALI Unit BB5 residents have threatened not to vote if their sewage problem is not solved soon.

Community members say they are tired of living with full septic tanks that they have to empty themselves while there is a honey sucker from the municipality that is meant for that purpose.

The community say they have tried several times to report the matter to the municipality but to no avail.

Speaking to Echo on Monday, the residents said it has been two years since the honey sucker came to remove waste from their homes.

Resident Phindile Mkhize said it is difficult to live under such conditions every day, noting that every time the weather changes she fears for the worst because she knows that the tanks will be overflowing into her yard that night or the following day. She added that when her neighbour’s septic tank gets full, it also spills into her yard, saying: “When this happens we are forced to live with these faeces until they dry up because there is nothing that we can do. We cannot even open our windows because of the smell. The situation is bad and we do not know what to do anymore.

“When we see the honey sucker in other areas and we ask it to come and assist us by removing the waste, we are told that it only helps people who have paid. I did not even know that we need to pay for it. Some of us are unemployed, where do they expect us to get the money from to pay for this honey sucker?” she lamented.

Another resident, Khombisile Jwara, said: “When our sewage tank gets full and the faeces runs into our neighbour’s yard, that does not sit well with us. We have taken it upon ourselves that every time we see that it is about to get full, the children use buckets to take the waste out and throw it in the bush because we do not have another option. If the children are not home it becomes a problem because I am old and I cannot do it myself.

“We need really need help, this problem has been going on for a long time.”

A resident who did not mention her name said she was forced to close her tuck shop because of this issue: “I also have the problem of the sewage tank that is leaking everyday, leaving faeces in my yard. I was forced to close my tuck shop because I saw that it was not healthy to sell people food in this situation. I cannot even open windows when I am cleaning because the smell comes through the kitchen and the whole house starts smelling like a toilet. If this problem continues I am not voting. I am tired, I have been voting all along but I am still living in this situation; it is not healthy and it is wrong,” she said.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Ntobeko Ngcobo said there is a waterborne sanitation system in the area but maintenance of the system has not been done due to limited resources.

“The municipality has to procure the services of the external companies. Although the community does not have to pay for these services, a decision has been made for an allocation of funding. As soon as that gets done, the municipality will empty the tanks. We appeal for patience from the members of the community while the matter is receiving attention,” she said.

Ward councillor Thamsanwa Sithole said he is aware of the problem and they are trying to sort it out: “I also live in the area so I understand the frustration. We are going to have a meeting again tomorrow (Friday) with the municipality to discuss the progress because we want this problem to be treated as the matter of urgency.”

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