Overflowing sewage frustrates Zwezwe residents

Homes were flooded with raw sewage.

Families in Zwezwe, Khayelitsha, were desperate for help as raw sewage flooded their yards and came flowing into their homes last week.

City of Cape Town officials arrived just in time to help as residents found themselves stuck inside their houses.

Zwezwe residents said they had been living with overflowing sewage for more than a month but last Wednesday it got worse.

Some angry residents said they want to comply with health regulations during the Covid-19 pandemic but it is tough under such conditions while others were worried about their health and that of children.

They said battling with the effects of a blocked and leaking sewerage system was becoming the norm but the flooding last week was unusual.

Frustrated resident Tiliya Siqutha, said the sewage started flowing early in April and since then the family had been living with a constant stench and raw waste on their property.

She said it has been a problem for the past five to six weeks and became much worse last week.

“We have been living with raw sewage causing an unbearable stench inside and outside our homes.

“This problem is constantly here and we have accepted it because there is no help coming. I don’t know how many times we have informed the officials about the drain. Now is a crucial health time of coronavirus.

“This is disgusting. This is not a life for people,” she said.

She added that the problem drain should be fixed again and speculated that the pipes were probably too small to cater for all the waste from the area that keeps growing.

“It would be advisable for the municipality to remove these pipes and put in bigger ones. As much as I am no expert, I think these pipes won’t take it anymore.”

She said it was difficult to cook in their area or even sit outside because of the overwhelming stench that spreads throughout the area.

A disgruntled Mziwathole Mahlasele, a resident of Vumenson Street, said they were at their wits’ end as they continued to be plagued by overflowing sewage in their yards and homes.

He said children played in the area, and were exposed to health risks.

Mr Mahlasele said the constant overflowing of the drains left them in unbearable conditions while the latest flooding had left many of their their belongings stained with raw sewage. “Our kids are so vulnerable. Some even play with the water because they don’t know how bad it is. These children are directly exposed to diseases with all the faeces and other unhealthy things that flow with this. This is appalling,” he said.

Ward 95 councillor Xolisa Ngwekazi said since he reported the sewage spill, the problem had been resolved – for now.

He commended the City officials for responding on time.

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