Repeated cries for help to fix faulty sewerage pipes have yielded nothing for Zone 25 residents in Langa. Instead, they have been compelled to live in some of the most appalling conditions, putting everyone, particularly children, at risk of contracting water and airborne diseases.
For more than a month now, residents have been forced to live in a neighbourhood covered in human excrement from the leaking and broken underground pipes which left their houses wet and smelly.
When Vukani visited the area, last Thursday March 29, a small murky stream, dotted with human faeces, ran behind a number of flats.
One passing resident said the stench formed part of their lives.
Resident Eric Lusizi said he had to take his children away because he didn’t want them to grow up in such an unsanitary environment. “We are living in terrible conditions,” he said.
Mr Lusizi accused the municipality of failing to deal with the problem and said numerous attempts to fix the leaks had been in vain. “In my view, these pipes are too small to carry the burden of all these flats. They need to be changed. We need bigger pipes and a better sewerage system.”
While Mr Lusizi blamed the council for its failure to address their concerns, he also called on residents to shoulder some of the blame. “I wish we can also learn not to throw certain things into the drain,” he said, adding that some people put food and clothes and plastic into the sewerage system.
Mr Lusizi said he wanted the problem to be fixed so that his children could come back home. “This is very unhealthy. Children play here and they do not mind at all. That is why I resorted to taking mine away. This is bad, especially for them,” he said. His wife, Nolungile, said they could not even open the windows during the day. “For us who stay here, it is difficult to eat. The stench is all over the place. As you might have seen, you could see the waste lying all over the place. We are living in an unhealthy area,” she said.
Vukani sent a list of questions relating to the matter, to the City of Cape Town, but by the time this edition went to print, they had not yet responded.