RESIDENTS of Kuisebmond at the coastal town of Walvis Bay say they are fed up with the terrible odour of running sewage water experienced at the town almost daily.
According to the residents, they cannot understand why the problem has not been resolved after so many years of complaining to the municipality They fear that the problem is not only a health hazard, but also puts the town to shame when visitors are around.
"Many people who have left the town come to visit friends and family, and they are horrified at what they find here. Streets are constantly flooded by sewage water. People have to use other routes to get to where they want to go because nobody wants to walk past that. Water keeps coming out of my shower outlet," said resident Getrud Shipiki. Another resident, Maritjie Paulus, said she was tired of the smelling dirt outside her kitchen window.
"It is horrible! How can you eat when you smell that almost every day? Our windows remain closed, meaning we are cut from ventilation. But even that does not help; the smell is all over the house" laments Paulus.
Resident Jerry Thomas asked how they can live with a dam full of filthy water all around their house.
"I had to buy rain boots to walk out of my house and get into my car. The worse part is dropping your child at school to find that even school yards are full of water where the children are playing," he stated.
Some residents say that they often have to walk out of their houses to visit family and friends, and come back in the evenings when there is less water.
Others say they understand that the municipality is somehow trying to control the situation, as they see municipal trucks trying to unblock drains all the time. However, they added that a permanent solution was needed to get rid of the problem once and for all.
"I understand that the municipality is under pressure on this issue. I see them trying, because you regularly see the [municipal] truck parked at some houses, trying to unblock the drains. But that thing of leaving heaps of dirt next to the drains after they unblock it is just as bad," charged Tina Ndjalo.
Residents also wonder why this situation is only experienced in the Kuisebmond area.
Meanwhile, the manager for public relations and customer service at the Municipality of Walvis Bay, Kevin Adams, said their engineers are working to fix the problem.
"Apart from the present upgrade of the main sewerage lines in Rikumbi Kandanga and 6th Street, Walvis Bay, the municipality is designing a process which will encompass trenchless sewerage replacement/repair technology in order to better manage its ageing sewer assets," he explained.
Adams says a trial project has been earmarked to start in Narraville to rehabilitate or replace existing old main sewer lines in Pelican Street. Upon fruitful implementation of the trenchless technology, the project will be rolled out progressively to other suburbs, including Kuisebmond.
He added that the municipality is assessing how to implement an effective programme for flushing main sewer lines which includes sewer cleaning and CCTV condition-based assessments to improve the flow capacity of the existing sewer, and can extend the working life of the existing sewer to be trouble-free.