Residents living near the Mkondeni Spruit have experienced almost identical symptoms after being exposed to sewage.
Headaches, nausea, eye discomfort, skin rashes and vomiting are among the symptoms being felt by the frustrated residents.
A local stated that the pollution and sewage, which has been a problem in the area since May this year, negatively impacted the health of his four daughters.
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Luyanda Hadebe, a father of four girls, said his daughters had experienced the symptoms associated with exposure to sewage, which was confirmed by their doctor.
My daughters experienced nausea and vomiting while my wife and I had eye irritation. After the vomiting, I noticed my daughters started to develop a rash on their bodies.
He said they live in isolation, with the windows closed, and they don’t invite anyone over because of the foul smell.
Another resident, Jenne Smith, said they live in Torwood Drive, Hayfields, and the river flows through her property.
She said they don’t open their windows due to the stench.
These issues have been reported to the municipality for the past three years. My son and his dog have also been ill since this started.
Their symptoms include eye irritation and chest infections.
The chairperson of the Cleland Meadows Residents and Ratepayers Association (CMRRA), Maureen Govender, recently tabulated a number of unaddressed issues, which include toxic waste, sewage spills and illegal dumping, dating back to 2020.
The issue of a toxic waste spill near the Blackburrow Bridge in Cleland has led to residents of the area experiencing symptoms of ill-health.
Govender said raw sewage and toxic effluent have been major problems for those living along the Mkondeni Spruit.
This has been ongoing for years and has reached a point where residents have reported ill health and animals getting sick. The residents from Mimosa Road in Cleland, right down into Hayfields, have to endure these toxic smells daily.
Govender said numerous reports by the residents to the municipality’s water and sanitation department have been futile.
There is clearly toxic effluent being let into the stream by one of the companies in Mkondeni. How they are getting away with it is mindboggling.
Govender said raw sewage is another major concern.
“Just a few days ago along the spruit, I noticed that the banks of the river were black and there was a major stink in the area.”
Govender said some of the other symptoms that the residents complained about were streaming red eyes, coughing and vomiting.
She said a sewage spill on the corner of Murray Road and CB Downes Road was reported to the municipality last week, but this has still not been attended to.
“CB Downes Road is one of the busiest roads in Mkondeni. This area is the hub of industry in Msunduzi, bringing in visitors from all over. This is embarrassing for us as a city,” said Govender.
Municipal manager Lulamile Mapholoba said earlier this week that the sanitation unit has managed to acquire two high pressure trucks on hire, which are busy clearing the backlog.
Mapholoba said previously:
There have been allegations that there are blockages that have not been fixed for a year or more, and this is not entirely correct. Several of these ‘hotspots’ are regularly attended to and cleared, only to block up again a week or so later.
He said such blockages are as a result of cracked or broken pipework which require capital funding to replace the sewer line in its entire-