Francistown’s Phase VI ‘drowning’ in streams of sewerage spillage
Residents of Phase VI location in Francistown are up in arms over a sewerage system that has brought nothing but discomfort to the area since the project was handed over to Water Utilities Corporation (WUC).
A number of septic tanks in the area have been sending stinking spillage into nearby homesteads for the last seven months.
The air in Phase VI is thick with the stench of decaying human excrement.
It has become common to see kids as young as four jumping in and out of the countless green streams that criss cross the small location.
The streams coming from blocked tanks have become an eyesore and a nightmare for parents.
One resident, operating a small tuckshop just a stone’s throw away from one of the foul streams, told The Voice that at times she is forced to close the door as the smell is unbearable.
Tumani Mofaladi, 21, said she risks losing customers who also can’t stand the putrid pong engulfing the area.
“It has been this way for over two months. I’m told residents are the cause of these blockages as they throw in blankets and other items which block the flow of sewerage,” she revealed.
Mofaladi said WUC, who are in charge of the sewage network in Phase VI, occasionally come to unblock the tanks.
The relief doesn’t last long however, as a disgusted Mofaladi explained, “It doesn’t take that long for another blockage, in fact it only takes a day and another tank will be over spilling, stinking up the entire area.”
Mofaladi’s neighbour, Bonte Mpata is the worst affected. Every time there’s a spillage from the tank, the stream floods her yard.
“We have built a barrier at the gate to stop the flood. At one time this yard was flooded to a point where we were unable to leave the house.
“We were literally swimming in s**t,” she summarised bluntly.
Mpata confirmed she has also heard rumours that residents flush foreign objects which blocks the line.
“They say some people throw dead dogs in the tanks completing blocking the line. I have never seen these dead dogs being removed and I wonder who is spreading this,” she mused.
Mpata said the problem is scaring away potential customers and has literally made her home uninhabitable.
“Who’ll want to live in a place like this?” she asked, pointing blindly in the direction of the foul stream.
“I sell fresh chips and fat cakes and sometimes it is impossible to eat,” Mpata said cursing under her breath at the unwanted aroma.
The Voice contacted the newly elected Village Development Committee Chairperson, Ottoh Masogo who called on authorities to act before Phase VI faces an outbreak of waterborne diseases.
“It is an unhealthy area to live in. Our kids eat human waste everyday and it cannot be acceptable,” said Masogo.
He further said he wishes the maintenance of the sewerage system be brought back to council, as WUC seem to be struggling.
“I receive reports everyday which I quickly escalate but nothing is being done about this problem. As community leaders people think we are not doing anything,” he griped.
“I think the sewerage network itself is a problem. There’s just too many tanks and too many intersections – my suspicion is the blockage is caused by these many intersections,” continued Masogo.
The sewerage problem in Francistown is not limited to Phase VI alone. In areas such as Phase 1, Block 8, Coloured and Railway Houses at Government Camp the situation has persisted for some months.