Covid Informal Settlement in Mfuleni, one of Cape Town’s low-lying areas, is flooded after heavy rains. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency (ANA)
Covid Informal Settlement in Mfuleni, one of Cape Town’s low-lying areas, is flooded after heavy rains. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency (ANA)

Stagnant pools of rainwater posing health risk in Covid informal settlement

By Siyabonga Kalipa Time of article published Aug 3, 2021

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Cape Town - It has been about a week since it last rained but the residents of Covid informal settlements are still tip-toeing in small ponds created by the rain.

The settlement is one of many that emerged after lockdown started last year.

The problem the residents are faced with is that the lands they occupied illegally are not serviced.

In Covid, there is no drainage system which means that when it rains, especially in low-lying areas, the place is flooded.

Resident Bongile Zanazo said they were living in water in the settlement because the rainwater had not drained.

“The water has damaged a lot of people’s belongings and some even had to move their furniture,” he said.

Zanazo said there were no drains in the area, which meant flooding would be a regular occurrence every winter.

He said the stagnant water was making residents sick. There was no clinic nearby.

“Even our children are playing with the water which affects their health. All we want are basic services or to be moved to a serviced land,” he said.

Community leader Thabiso Ngwevu said the area had many low-lying spaces. They had tried to warn people not to build in such areas and had tried to move people to more suitable areas.

Ngwevu said that because of the inhumane living conditions, the resident had attempted to engage the Human Right Commission.

“We have been trying to engage with the relevant authorities to try and assist us but no one seems to care about our plight,” he said.

He said they wanted to get the authorities to engage with them, so they could avoid unnecessary protests.

Ngwevu said the residents had made it clear that they were not going anywhere because they don’t have anywhere else to go.

He said the authorities needed to come to them, so that they could find an amicable solution.

Weekend Argus

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