Gqeberha sewerage spills, five years on

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Residents of Missionvale in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape have had to endure sewerage spills in their neighbourhood for a long time.

The issue started in 2017 when piped water and flush toilets were introduced to the area. Sewerage began to spill not long after, causing serious health risks. Several areas including the local pre-school care centre are affected.

A number of residential areas in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro are also affected. The Missionvale community has been living under these appalling conditions for over five years – without any permanent solution.

In Tromp Street – the sewerage runs past a pre-school and a care centre.
Missionvale Care Centre General Manager, Sabrina Lambers says this is also affecting her staff.

“The sewerage system in Missionvale has collapsed, many areas are flooded by sewerage, we have many schools in the area, the smell is a huge problem, children coming out of their households, it’s a massive problem to remain hygienic, we cannot breathe.”
Some of the residents say the problem started shortly after the area received piped water and flushing toilets. One of the residents Thelma Msomi says they have reported sewerage spills to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality authorities but their attempts fell on deaf ears.

“We have a problem with sewerage, it sewerage goes when drains are full, we have children, and the whole area is wet, sewerage goes to our homes and the smell is unbearable, I always talk to my councillor but nothing is done.”
Some people have left the area due to the inhumane living conditions but not everybody has this option available. Residents have vowed to continue fighting for their rights.