LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes
SEWER spillage and dirty water pools at bus stops, markets and along some centre roads in the area due to blocked soaker ways and a drainage system has angered residents of Lusaka’s Mandevu Compound.
The residents said that the poor hygienic and sanitation situation currently existing in the compound has created a health hazard, especially for children, in the community.
One of the residents, Gideon Banda, told The Sun in an interview, that the drainage system in Mandevu, especially around the bus stop, has been blocked for the past three months resulting in stagnant water pools forming around the place.
He explained that the community also has dirty water, which looks like sewer effluent, flowing in some areas creating an unhygienic situation.
Mr Banda said that the residents have complained to the councillor about the situation but that he had reportedly not done anything about it.
“We have a lot of blocked drainages and uncollected garbage in the community. This is a serious matter which is posing a danger to the members of the community especially children. We have engaged the councilor on the issue but he simply keeps assuring us but does nothing about it,” he said.
But Justine Kabwe Ward 21 Councilor, Teddy Mwaba, blamed the problem on some “irresponsible” members of the community he said did want to throw garbage in designated dumping areas.
Mr Mwaba assured that his office was doing all it could to ensure that the drainages were unblocked and cleaned.
“I have requested the office of the District Commissioner to come on board and help with the unblocking of drainages. They are helping us source funds for the exercise and I am hopeful that we could do it before the next rainy season,” he said.
Mr Mwaba also advised the residents that the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) was only responsible for cleaning the main sewer lines and that unblocking of the septic tanks was the people’s responsibility.
He disclosed that the LWSC planned to construct a new sewer network in Mandevu as the current one had outlived its usefulness.
But Mr Banda observed that the failure by the council to collect gardge was also mostlyu to blame for the four smells and blocked sewer lines in the community. Mr Banda ‘s view were supported by another resident, Martha Njovu, who explained that most septic tanks in the area were blocked because some people were in the habit of emptying garbage in them thereby forcing the fecal matter to overflow. She complained that the situation was particularly unhealthy for children because they played in the same sewer effluent.
“We are appealing to our councillor to help make our community clean and more hygienic,” she said.