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Dunoon's overflowing drainage system makes locals feel abandoned

Man jumps over a flooded area in Dunoon . Picture Cindy Waxa/ANA

Man jumps over a flooded area in Dunoon . Picture Cindy Waxa/ANA

Published Oct 16, 2021


Cape Town - Dunoon’s overflowing drainage system has left the community feeling ignored, with residents saying they were fed-up with the City’s failure to fix the problem.

Anitha Mzayiya who has been living in Dunoon her entire life, said the sewage overflow is a health hazard.

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“It’s been over two months since the drains burst in front of my house; when a person calls, they don't pick up their phones. They are not doing anything to help us. They leave things like that and the sewage issue results with the kids getting sick as taxis and cars drive past and splash water on them.”

“Sometimes you wake up and there is no water, there’s no electricity, there's sewage issues, this has become our normal lives now. We feel abandoned and our concern continues to fall on deaf ears,” said Mzayiya.

Community leader Lindelwa Mguli, said that the ongoing sewage system overflow was left unattended by the authorities, who appear to have “abandoned” Dunoon. .

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“I feel like the City of Cape Town has abandoned the Dunoon community because this issue of drainage has been in local newspapers and all over the social media, but no long term solution has been implemented.

“As the community is overpopulated, I wish that the City of Cape Town can finally render houses to the people and look into changing sewage pipes to accommodate the population,” said Mguli.

Mayco member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg said the area’s dense population and land invasions obstructed the City’s access to infrastructure.

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“With a designated team, specifically allocated to the Dunoon area where their main responsibilities include the unblocking of sewers and the removal of foreign objects and debris, their work has been made challenging due to the extreme high density in the area and land invasions that block the City’s access to infrastructure.

“Materials pulled from the pipes regularly include rags, wet wipes, rubble, nappies, among a range of other items that the sewerage system is not designed to transport. When combined with cooking fat/grease poured down drains and into the system, which hardens and acts like glue, major blockages occur, leading to sewer overflows.”

She added that despite this the City will continue to clear blockages as they are reported, but prevention lay with residents.

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“Residents are reminded that it is illegal to use sewers to dispose of fats, rags, litter or any other item that could cause a blockage, and we appeal to communities to please educate one another around the consequences of dumping in the sewers,” said Limberg.

Limberg said the City had continued to address the problem in Dunoon through:

· Regular screening of inappropriate materials in the sewer pipes by means of bucket machines

· Regular cleaning by means of water pressure cleaning and vacuuming of the pipes

· Installation of sand and rag traps to catch any inappropriate matter (these traps are cleaned twice a week)

· Education and awareness drives to explain to residents that what goes into the system has a direct impact on blockages and overflows.

She added that a major upgrade of the Dunoon bulk sewer was completed in June last year.

Limberg said stormwater to sewer diversions, to address the impact of unlawful land occupations in Dunoon/Doornbach, are scheduled for completion in 2023.

Weekend Argus