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‘Our neighbours are swimming in sewage’

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Warrenton residents call on municipality to relocate families severely affected by sewage flooding

Several homes in Ginhall in Warrenton have been flooded and residents are still waiting for assistance. Picture: Supplied

RESIDENTS of Ginhall in Warrenton have called on the Magareng Local Municipality to relocate families that are severely affected by sewage flooding.

This is after some families have apparently been left “swimming in sewage” since the beginning of the year.

The sewage flooding is reportedly caused by blocked drainage systems in Magareng.

A team was reportedly dispatched to work on unblocking the drains and addressing the spillage issue last week.

Residents said that while the sewage overflow was minimised, the spillage in their yards was not cleaned up, as they had expected it would be.

According to the residents, the drains have, however, started overflowing once again this week.

Houses in the lower-lying areas have been the worst affected.

The residents once again pointed out this week that the sewage flooding has been a “nightmare” for a number of years already.

They slammed the municipality for failing to find a permanent solution to the problem and accused it of failing to maintain its infrastructure.

The residents this week further accused the local authority of “lying to the media” by claiming that the flooding has been exacerbated by the recent rains.

They have called on the municipality to relocate the worst-hit families to a shelter while a permanent solution is sought.

The affected families said that their houses are crumbling and that they suffer from lung-related illnesses due to the damp.

One of the residents said yesterday that she was “shocked and disgusted” after discovering the painful experience her neighbours endured on a daily basis.

The neighbouring family consists of an elderly couple and their two grandchildren – aged one and two.

“It is heartbreaking. While we who live on the higher-level areas of the street complain about our furniture being destroyed and of suffering from sinus ailments, their problems are far worse than ours,” said the neighbour.

“They are swimming in the sewage, which enters their houses 24/7.

“They can’t even go to sleep at night before carrying the filth out of their houses with buckets every night. And even after doing so, they still wake up and find themselves in a sewage pond.”

She said that they never realised how dire the situation was when they saw the neighbours carrying out soaked blankets and piles of clothes to dry in the sun throughout the day.

She added that she also did not question why the family does not have any furniture inside their home.

“I asked my neighbour why her two-year-old granddaughter, who was soaked, plays in the water. She told me that the stinking water was inside the house.

“We went to check what was happening and we were shocked to see the family’s living conditions.”

The resident questioned why the family’s RDP house was “erected in a sewage dam”.

“They always suffer the most. We can’t understand why the foundation of their house was not lifted.

“We expected the family to be moved to a temporary shelter by now. But our officials at the municipality make it seem like we want to oust them from their positions when we insist on that.”

Municipal spokesperson Thapelo Jacobs said a service provider had recently been appointed to service the wastewater treatment plant on a regular basis.

Jacobs admitted that there was a difficulty in finding a permanent solution to the sewage overflow problem.

He did, however, assure residents that the matter is being given the necessary attention.

“The municipality is and will be looking at how to address the spillage remaining in the yards.

“From now on, the appointed team will remain alert and the capacity of the system will be increased in order to keep the pipes running along the N12 serviced,” said Jacobs.

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