RESIDENTS living at the back of Breidbach, better known as “Die Gat” are up in arms about sewage-filled channels flowing through their yards.
The residents have stood up against the unhygienic situation which comprises their freedom of living in a healthy environment.
Sewage and drain water flows in a channel through yards causing an unpleasant stinking and unhygienic environment.
Residents said they have called on the Buffalo City Municipality’s (BCM) environmental department to intervene and come up with a tangible solution on how to overcome the problem.
This has resulted in BCM health officials visiting the affected area, doing an investigation and calling on the concerned residents to a meeting to discuss the way forward.
BCM senior environmental health practitioner Ayanda Qebeyi accompanied by chief environmental health practitioner Coceka Pika addressed the residents during the meeting, noted their concerns and promised to involve other relevant departments for intervention in solving the problem.
Qebeyi said the matter was brought to his attention by resident speaking on behalf of others about six weeks ago.
“Our investigation started immediately after Desmond Coetzee explained the situation to our office and after regular visits conducted to the area with consultations with other residents I decided to bring my chief here for this meeting with all of you,” Qebeyi said.
Pika said the meeting is of paramount importance as people’s lives might be at risk due to unhygienic conditions and have asked everyone present to participate in discussions.
“We as a department appreciate this session with you as the residents and will do everything possible to bring change to the situation with your cooperation and support,” Pika said.
“We first need to establish what caused this problem and what the purpose of this channel was.”
Rhaino Russion was still a primary school pupil when officials of the then King William’s Town transitional local council (TLC) built the channel in front of the houses’ lounges from the top to the bottom of the row.
“They never gave us any reason for its purpose and that is when the problem started,” he said.
“I am now older than 30 and still wondering and wanting to know why they placed the channel here as we never had the problem before.”
Coetzee said his daughter was diagnosed with hepatitis A due to the unhygienic channel where sewage water flows and the stench comes from. He said that it was only a miracle that she was saved after being rushed to Grey Hospital about 15 years ago.
“It was during the month of December and I will never forget the day when I had to rush from work after receiving the call that my daughter was diagnosed with hepatitis by the clinic.
“On arriving home, I found members of my church assisting my devastated wife by praying for my daughter,” Coetzee said.
Pika said: “It is indeed true that contaminated water can cause hepatitis A which is one of the diseases I will present to you by creating awareness about waterborne diseases and how we can protect ourselves for the period from now onwards until the problem has finally been solved.
“We will engage with other departments to bring an end to this.”