Ilinge resident fears for his life as sewage floods home

HEALTH HAZARD: Smelly sewage floods the yard of Ilinge resident Arthur Nkomo every day, placing his wellbeing at serious risk   Picture: SUPPLIED

Ilinge resident fears for his life as sewage floods his property

A raw sewage overflow in Ilinge resident Arthur Nkomo’s yard has left him fearing for his and his animals’ lives.

“The dogs in my yard drink the water. I am afraid they might get sick or die.”

Nkomo said the problem has started to affect his personal life. “Sometimes I have to wait until the bad odour tones down before I cook or eat,” he laments.

He was desperately looking for a solution. “I would be so happy if this matter would be resolved. I live off my garden plants and now I cannot eat because the plants are affected by the sewage. Everything is wasted. Food is expensive and the garden really helped cut costs because I would only go to town buy meat. We had all kinds of vegetables,’’ he said.

Nkomo said the situation worsened daily. “It fills the yard and I even struggle to walk out of the house.” He said people passing by his home would point fingers and cover their nostrils because of the smell.

“What is even scarier is that Covid-19 could make things far worse, considering illnesses such as bronchitis and pulmonary fibrosis. A person of my age is at a higher risk of contracting such illnesses. I am scared for my life and what I could wake up to one day.”

He has tried to fix the problem on numerous occasions. “I have tried to fix the problem myself, but none of that has worked. I wish I knew how to stop the sewage coming into my yard. I wish the municipality would hear my cry and intervene. Sometimes it dries and leaves black, stinky patches on the pavement,’’ Nkomo added.

Nkomo said he was contemplating digging a channel so that the sewage ran into neighbouring houses so that they also suffered the same fate and said he hoped that would bring a solution.

He alleged that a municipal truck serviced the area at times but never reached his house, despite having reported the problem on two occasions.

The previous week, a similar complaint was raised by another resident in Mlungisi.

Chris Hani District Municipality spokesperson Bulelwa Ganyaza said the municipality required clear details including Nkomo’s address, a reference number, which offices he visited to report the matter before they could properly respond.

“The district receives a number of customer complaints through different forms  such as walk-ins to our offices, via our customer care line (0800 100 100) and ward councillors. These complaints are attended to with feedback sourced from the complaints to gauge their satisfaction level on how the complaint was resolved.

In this case, it is not easy to advise on what transpired with the issue referred due to lack of information concerning the matter. We therefore kindly request you to provide us with information related to this particular incident for proper follow up internally.