Raw sewage in my back yard – Port Elizabeth resident

Streets and yards flooded for two months in Wells Estate

Photo of two people in a flooded yard

Ntombozuko Blom standing just outside her yard with her six-year-old, Siphesihle. Photo: Joseph Chirume

By Joseph Chirume

14 July 2017

For the past two months a number of residents in Wells Estate, Port Elizabeth, have been living with raw sewage flowing into their yards. Several streets are also flooded with sludge.

The municipality says the problem is caused by residents flushing “foreign objects” down their toilets or directly dumping things into the drains.

Angry residents say the municipality takes its time clearing the blockages.

Ntombozuko Blom lives in Tshazimpunzi Street on a plot where sewer pipes flow into an underground drain near her yard.

“We have been living with the human faeces flowing into this yard for the past two months. I reported to the municipality on several occasions with no success. There are four young children who stay here. We have banned them from playing in the yard,” said Blom.

“The municipality finally came to fix the drain today [Wednesday]. They gave us chemicals to spray … I will have to contact them again. I hope they will not take long to come. The smell is still heavy because the municipality did not complete their job. I beg them to come back,” said Blom.

Nearby Qoboqobo Street is also flooded with sewer water. Two houses at the southern end of the street have parts of their yards submerged in sewage.

A longtime resident of the area who did not want to be named said, “We have to jump over small dams of dirty water when walking in the street. The smell is unbearable. The whole area smells of untreated sewage.”

Spokesperson for Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality Mthubanzi Mniki said residents must not throw foreign objects like tyres, logs and stones into drains. He urged residents to report complaints through the 0800 205050 number.

Qoboqobo Street is flooded with sewer water. Photo: Joseph Chirume