Saturday 15 May 2021
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Misuse of sewer system reason for Mondesa’s sewage woes – Municipality

The sewage dilemma in Swakopmund’s Mondesa suburb seems to be never-ending story with sewage water flooding the streets almost every week.
This is particularly so in Festus Gonteb street towards Obadja Uushona (OB) Street and further on towards the new Multipurpose Centre.
Upon enquiry regarding this now historical scenario, which is continuing for more than 15 years, the Swakopmund Municipality noted that the problem is not the design or engineering of the existing sewer lines, but the fact that residents discard foreign objects such as books, newspapers, bricks, cutlery, sand, fat etcetera into the sewer system.
“No sewer system in the world is designed to carry these objects and this causes the blockages,” says Aili Gebhardt, Corporate Officer: Marketing & Communication for Corporate Services at the municipality.
She further noted that Council initiated a midblock removal program, which means that every year a suburb in Swakopmund is focused on to remove and relocate sewer lines from inside the erven to the road reserved.
Gebhardt emphasized the fact that the midblock removal program is only designed to facilitate maintenance and enable council employees to reach the blockages in the street instead of in a person’s backyard. A tender worth more than N$20 million was awarded to Strydo Construction about 5-7 years back in order to upgrade the existing sewer lines in this specific area, however nothing has really changed. Residents in the affected area are of the opinion that the new sewer lines are not up to standard to carry the capacity of sewage it is acquired to.
This could not be confirmed, as Gebhardt only noted that, “the tender that was awarded did make a difference in the area where the relocation was implemented, but due to the continued dumping of foreign objects upstream into the sewer line, the newly relocated sewer lines also become blocked over time.”
Gebhardt explained that the only way to curb this dilemma is by not abusing the sewer line and use it responsibly.
Municipal workers are busy draining the sewage water every weekend and sometimes during weekdays at night and The Patriot insisted to know how much tax payer’s money is spend on overtime.
It was noted that “the expenses are high as can be expected and the community can save a lot of money by not abusing the sewer system.”
According to Gebhardt, the municipality’s short term plan is to continue with the relocation program and to stay away from installing midblock where it is possible. Meanwhile residents in this area have to endure the unhygienic conditions, with a nauseating stench filling the air.
This has become part of their daily lives.  One of the blockages occurs next to Festus Gonteb Primary school and pupils have to find a way through or over the sewage water, on their way to school and back.
Small children can also be observed playing in this sewage water, which is very unhygienic and could lead to dangerous diseases.

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