Flowing sewage in Limpopo taxi rank is a major health hazard

Written by Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

Thohoyandou residents say they are fed up with the lack of urgency the Vhembe District Municipality shows in repairing burst sewerage pipes.

Residents who frequent the Thohoyandou shopping CBD say they are tired of being exposed to flowing raw sewage, as burst sewerage pipelines are being reported all the time but the Vhembe District Municipality, responsible for maintaining the pipes, takes several days to repair a burst line. 

Continuously breaking and leaking 

For over two weeks now, raw sewage has been flowing in Mvusuludzo taxi rank, forcing most hawkers to close their businesses due to the unbearable smell, while others chose to cover their faces with a cloth and continue to operate their businesses.

Portia Nyelisani who sells fruits and vegetables at the taxi rank says for the past few months almost every week a broken sewerage pipe is being reported, exposing them to several health hazards, while the municipality takes time to respond to calls.

“We are tired of being exposed to broken sewerage pipelines each week as the smell… is too much and it makes our lives difficult. Due to our small business, we are forced to come and sit here despite the sewage spills flowing. And every time they come and repair a burst pipeline, I think a shoddy job is being done as they usually burst again within few days or weeks,” says Nyelisani.

She says she doesn’t understand why they don’t respond quickly because their offices are a few metres from where she is. “Since last week we have been exposed to raw sewage spills which has been flowing all over the taxi rank, but they only came here, a dug a hole and left without repairing the sewage. The hole has been left uncovered and a child can easily fall inside and drown,” she says.   

Other negative effects and health hazard 

Raw sewage spills can have severely negative effects on those who become exposed to it because there are bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can cause diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea and dysentery.

“We are losing our customers because of this continuous burst pipelines as no one is willing to come and buy food at our markets due to this unbearable smell. Just looking at the water flowing with pieces of toilet paper can make you feel like vomiting,” says Joyce Munyai, who sells pap and meat.

Spokesperson for the Vhembe District Municipality, Matodzi Ralushai says it can take time to repair some of the broken lines. 

“We will be sending our team to attend to the burst line in Mvusuludzo taxi rank to ensure that it is repaired as soon as possible. We always encourage our people to report any linkage or burst line they might come across,” he says. – Health-e News.

About the author

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho is citizen journalist who is based in the Vhembe District of Limpopo province. He joined OurHealth in 2015 and his interests lie in investigative journalism and reporting the untold stories of disadvantaged rural communities. Ndivhuwo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies from the University of Venda and he is currently a registered student with UNISA.