Water News

Faeces in the kitchen: South Africans call for better sewage systems

Written by  Monday, 01 April 2019 10:16
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Picture1  

ABOUT OUR PROPERTY RIGHTS COVERAGE

This story is part of  place , our new website shining a light on land & property rights around the world.

 

Access to water is a hot topic in South Africa - and a growing number of countries hit by climate change, burgeoning populations and poor governance

By Kim Harrisberg

 

Faeces in the kitchen: South Africans call for better sewage systems

by Kim Harrisberg | @KimHarrisberg | Thomson Reuters Foundation

Thursday, 21 March 2019 07:59 GMT

 

JOHANNESBURG, March 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Raw excrement, condoms and sanitary products regularly spill into homes and parks, South Africans said ahead of Friday's World Water Day - just some of about 4.5 billion people globally without safe sanitation, promised for all by 2030.

Residents are lobbying for urgent rehabilitation of sewage works by South Africa's Department of Water and Sanitation, widely criticised for lack of investment, non-payment of contractors, poor revenue collection, water theft and leakage.

"We have had water flowing into our street and home for the last three years," Heather Crosley, who lives in South Africa's biggest city, Johannesburg, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"When it rains heavily, the manhole lids blows off; sewage rushes down the road and sometimes comes into our kitchen. We have found condoms, tampons and faeces in our kitchen on more than one occasion."

Under global development goals agreed in 2015, governments pledged to provide access to water and sanitation for all by 2030. But three in 10 people worldwide do not have a water source free from faecal and chemical contamination.

The spokesman for the water department, Sputnik Ratau, said setting up an independent regulator to improve management was "paramount", although he did not have a specific timeline.

"The Ministry and Department are seized with the work of ensuring this comes to pass," he said.

Access to water is a hot topic in South Africa - and a growing number of countries hit by climate change, burgeoning populations and poor governance - as drought last year triggered warnings that Cape Town's taps could run dry.

In Johannesburg's Soweto township, residents often see untreated waste water and excrement flow into tributaries that lead to the Vaal River, one of the country's main water sources.

"In Snake Park, sewage is currently flowing into a community-built park so the children have nowhere safe to play," said community activist Tiny Dlamini.

Untreated water can cause diarrhea and cholera, which can be fatal, particularly for children.

About 56 percent of South Africa's waste water treatment works are in a poor or critical state, said Mariette Liefferink, head of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment, which campaigns against water pollution caused by mining.

"This is a perfect storm of mismanagement that currently impacts 14 million South Africans without access to decent sanitation," said Christine Colvin, a water expert with the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa.

(Reporting by Kim Harrisberg @kimharrisberg, Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org

FSE IN SA MINING

The FSE contributed to the article titled “Caught between a rock and hard place”...

SA NEWS

FSE - DONATION OF TREES AND TREE PLANTING IN SIMUNYE, WEST RAND IN ASSOCIATION WITH SOUTH DEEP MINE

The FSE, in association with Gold Fields’ South Deep Mine, donated 40 white Karee Trees (Searsia penduline) during Arbor Week to the mining affected community of Simunye in the West Rand and participated in the tree planting ceremony with the community of Simunye, the local Municipality and officials from South Deep Mine.  The FSE also delivered a presentation during the ceremony.

"Varkies" gou op hok, maar als nie pluis | Beeld

Article also available for download as an attachment.

Radon Alert - Carte Blanche

Millions of South Africans are exposed to radioactive radon gas in their homes and workplaces every day, as the naturally occurring gas escapes through cracks in the earth. The second leading cause of lung cancer in several countries, radon breaks down and when inhaled, decaying atoms emit alpha radiation that can damage the DNA. There are no safe levels of radon concentration. The United States Environmental Protection Agency emphasises any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. Carte Blanche investigates why South Africa has no regulations to protect against radon accumulation in the home and what you can do to test your home and prevent lung cancer.   Watch the video here.

WITS Economics & Finance Courses: Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage

Economics & Finance Courses at the University of the Witwatersrand. Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage - Understand taxation for development and sustainability in mining. View the course here. Enrolment starts on the 7th of October 2019.

WATER

POLLUTION OF THE VAAL RIVER INTERVENTION AS PRESENTED at Rietspruit Forum - Aug 2020

The Intervention document is attached for download.

Development of the National Eutrophication Strategy and Supporting Documents

Attached documents:1. DWS Eutrophication SA & GA PSC 1 BID2. PSC 1 Meeting A...

Fears of long term damage to SA's water supply as eutrophication strangles rivers and dams | IOL

Toxic green algae in the Vaal River is caused by eutrophication, which harms wat...