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WATCH: Merebank and Lamontville besieged by sewage leaks

Lamontville township residents use a makeshift bridge to cross the road because of sewage leaks running on the road. Picture: Willem Phungula

Lamontville township residents use a makeshift bridge to cross the road because of sewage leaks running on the road. Picture: Willem Phungula

Published Jul 6, 2022


Durban - Merebank and Lamontville residents are fuming at eThekwini Municipality for failing to repair burst sewerage pipes which they claimed have resulted in faeces spilling over their yards.

Residents told the Daily News on Tuesday that they have been besieged by dirt all over their yards for months because the municipality had not responded to their pleas to come and fix the problem.

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Merebank resident Nischal Ramesh blamed the leakage on the failure of the municipality to maintain the pump station, which he said had not been working for months. He said the pump station was no longer pumping sewage to the recycling plant, but dirt piled into sewerage drainage in the yards and overflowed.

He said after making numerous calls to the municipality without help, residents resorted to a private plumber, who blamed the shoddy work by municipality engineers for linking sewerage and stormwater pipes which he said should have not happened. As a result of the problem, Ramesh said he was forced to level his swimming pool in the yard because it was always being contaminated and was posing health hazards to children who may swim while adults were absent.

The private plumber, Collin Govender, whom the Daily News team found working at Ramesh’s house, said the city needed to send engineers to look at the problem after he found that stormwater and sewerage pipes were joined, which he described as shoddy work.

Merebank resident Nischal Ramesh standing where his family’s swimming pool used to be. He said he was forced to close it and level the ground to avoid sewage water from contaminating it. Picture: Willem Phungula

A few kilometres from Merebank, Lamontville residents are having the same problem.

Immaculate Gwala and her family have become prisoners in their home as they were unable to move out because of the unbearable smell caused by the burst sewerage pipe on the road near their house. The unemployed mother of three said she was forced to close her tuck shop, which is outside her home, because customers stopped buying from her, saying they were avoiding a head-cracking smell coming from a drain next to her house.

“Our health has been affected. We are sick and our kids are more in danger as they have to walk past the open drain every day. We lock doors and windows the whole day to avoid the smell and flies coming from the burst sewage drain,” said Gwala.

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eThekwini Water and Sanitation head Ednick Msweli and human settlement and infrastructure committee chairperson deputy mayor Philani Mavundla said they have been made aware of the problem and it was being attended to.

Daily News