Tender for water treatment plant awarded, says municipality

Following a report by The Meander Chronicle on problems with sewage, litter and illegal dumping in Mpophomeni,
Umgungundlovu Municipality said a tender had been awarded and construction of a new waste water treatment facility in Mpophomeni would get under way soon.

There is, however, no timeframe for when work will begin to repair and upgrade the township’s ageing sewage infrastructure, such as sewage pipes. Residents have been complaining for years about sewage spills.

Umgungundlovu spokesperson Brian Zuma said the new water treatment plant was put out to tender by Umgeni Water. He said the project would take 24 months.

Concerned citizens and “Enviro Champs”activists in Mpophomeni township are distressed at the regular sewage pipe bursts, careless littering and illegal dumping in their home town. Pictures: Garth Johnstone

Confusion

There is confusion about the outdated sewage pipes, which are prone to bursting, leading sewage to enter the local Mthinzima stream (some of this ends up in Midmar Dam, a major local tourist and events hub).

While community activists and Ward 10 Councillor Sandile Khumalo say the old pipes will be replaced, no-one seems to know when this will happen.

In addition to serious environmental concerns around the ongoing sewage spills, the township also faces a crisis of littering and illegal dumping.

Thando Mgaga, spokesperson for Umngeni Municipality said: “The schedule of waste collection in Mpophomeni is six days a week. It must be noted that Mpophomeni is made up of four wards, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

“The Municipality encourages residents in Mpophomeni to ensure that waste that require collection must be in waste refuse bags. This assists in ensuring that waste collection is swift and effective.”

Clean-ups

Mgaga said the municipality, in partnership with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, appreciated the contribution by this programme which employs local people in their particular wards to undertake regular clean ups in their areas. “The clean-ups also target illegal dump sites. In Mpophomeni there are CWP workers who also clear litter and waste four days a week.”

He said in partnership with Good Green Deeds, an initiative by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, outreach programmes have been undertaken in various primary schools in Mpophomeni, spreading the word about conserving the environment and desisting from littering and illegal dumping of waste.

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