Travancore Drive, a widely used road in Merebank, has become a cause for concern especially when it rains as the drains are clogged, leaving large pools of stagnant water. Residents are worried about the spread of infections due to this.
Nerissa Perumal, an environmental champion of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliances (SDCEA), who deals with issues in the Merebank community said that a scholar patrol working on Travancore Drive complained that the water stinks and has even turned green in colour.
“There are now mosquitoes breeding in the water. This water has been collecting ever since the heavy rains last year. The clogging may have been created by people jamming the manholes with their own waste,” she explained.
Bongani Mthembu, GIS and Air Quality officer of SDCEA said, “If the water is still, it becomes a health hazard to residents. Especially with mosquitoes and other insects breeding in this water, it means it has become contaminated.”
He added, “With a mixture of different wastes being dumped in manholes and washed over with contaminated dirty water, it forms a smell that will affect people with asthma and wheezing. Such issues particularly increases the risk of TB. Secondly, people with illnesses such as cancer have weak immune systems which doubles the impact of them getting ill more often.”