Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Neglected Sewage Plant makes Life a Misery for Residents and Workers.

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The    Allanridge and Nyakallong sewage plant is situated north-east of Nyakallong,very close to the railway line,which runs on the east side of Nyakallong.The two pump stations,one from Nyakallong and the other from Allanridge,both push their sewage to the sewage plant where all the machinery is at standstill.’i wonder why there would give a tender to fix a pump station and forget about the sewage plant’said the local councillor during the interview. There is no form of electricity in what so ever. The sanitation workers complain they have been talking to the relevant stockholders for time unmemorable but to no avail. He elaborated that water cleaning process has stopped for donkey’s years. The plant just habour sewage for a certain period of time only to discharge it into nearby slim dam. The plant is just ten feet from the community houses.

People in nearby houses complain of unbearable smells which emanates from this deserted plant. It even goes to the extent whereby people cannot open their windows.One of the ladies staying nearby complained of the disturbed sleep and sore throats at night because of the stinky smell.The sanitation workers also long for the days when they used to have three-month check-ups when at work ,they are compelled to change their working area according to the direction of the wind.


The sewer gas is rubbing salt on the wound to the already skyrocketing mortality rate in Nyakallong. The sewer gas normally contains ammonia, methane and hydrogen sulphide. All which are toxic when inhaled in high concentrations. People can die through asphyxiation when exposed to high concentrations of sewer gas. More common effects include eye irritation, nausea and breathing difficulties.Prolonged low-level exposure may cause fatigue, pneumonia, and loss of appetite, headaches, irritability, poor memory and dizziness. Hydrogen Sulphide has been purported to be a reason for miscarriage and gall bladder problems, Nitrogen in ammonia and Methane, as well as hydrogen in hydrogen sulphide,can rapidly replace oxygen in lungs and blood stream of those exposed to the sewer gas.


The councillor said to have approached and taken relevant stake-holders in Machabeng Municipality to the sewage plant but to no avail. He therefore says his hands are tied; he has nowhere else to go. The people living close-by are talking about this to anybody they think can help.


Report by Water Surveillance Task Team


GUBICO is a community based organisation in Free State Province receiving sharing and learning training via Monitoring School from the Bench Marks Foundation Monitoring Project.