Beaches closed after medical waste washes ashore

2016-05-19 11:11


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Pietermaritzburg - Medical waste, which includes male and female condoms, has closed several Durban beaches after it washed up on their shorelines last week.

Beachwood Mangrove, Virginia and Glenashley beaches have been closed temporarily while efforts to clean the waste are under way.

A statement by the eThekwini Municipality yesterday said the “several loads of medical waste” that washed up could pose a health hazard to people using the beaches.

The statement said the eThekwini Municipality’s health unit was investigating the source of the medical waste.

“Municipal officials are working around the clock to ensure that all the waste is removed from the beach,” said the statement.

The clean-up should be completed in two weeks.

“In the interest of safety, all residents are advised to use alternative beaches until it is safe to use the affected beaches.”

eThekwini municipal spokesperson Thulani Mbatha said the health unit had already been working for several days to clean up the beach and determine how far the waste reaches along the shorelines.

“The areas have been cordoned off while the shorelines are being cleaned,” he said.

Mbatha said a full report on the waste, its contents and where it might have come from was not yet available.

He said the waste consisted of various pills, and sealed packets of female and male condoms.

“The products appear to be unused.”

KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo said the Beachwood Nature Reserve is still open to the public as only the beach was affected.

He said no marine life had been harmed by the medical waste that had washed up onto the beaches.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  pollution  |  beach  |  waste

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