Children frolic in flood water as only pool in Brown’s Farm remains closed
The pool in Philippi has been closed since August when it was vandalised during the taxi protests
The closure of the only swimming pool in Brown’s Farm, Philippi has left many children in the area with little to no safe spaces to play during the spring holiday break.
The Brown’s Farm swimming pool has been closed since 7 August when the facility was vandalised during the violent taxi strike which resulted in a number of public facilities in the community being ransacked and vandalised.
On Thursday we caught up with a group of young children who were frolicking in a pool of stagnant water on an open field and road near Browns Farm. The knee deep, brown-coloured water is what remains from a dam nearby which broke its banks during the recent devastating flooding and heavy rains across the Western Cape.
As the weather became warmer on Thursday, the children say they went looking for a place to cool off and have fun. People passing the children scolded them to get out of the water, warning them of the dangers and possible health risks. But each time someone chased them away, they would run back to resume their play.
GroundUp spoke to the children. We’ve withheld their names. They said they were there without permission from their parents but they said they knew about the dangers of swimming in that water.
“There are no swimming pools,” said one of them.
Another nine-year-old said: “We are not swimming deep. We just jump where there is tar road underneath. Some of my friends have been told by their parents not to get into the water, and they don’t listen. We are just having fun on a nice hot day.”
One parent, Nomsimelelo Tunzi, said she has warned her two sons against playing in bodies of water like this one. She worries that there are no recreational facilities to keep children occupied in Philippi during the school holiday.
Community leader Anele Mapapu said children should be warned about the dangers of playing in that water as it was likely contaminated with sewage that could make them ill.
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