Waaihoek residents are still collecting sewage water for drinking, cooking and washing.

The Ladysmith Herald reported in the 18 September issue that the residents of Waaihoek had no choice because they had no clean running water coming to their taps in the area. The sewage reticulation plant has remained exposed and residents frequent it for water, posing serious health risks.

“We are still using the water for drinking, cleaning and cooking,” said a Waaihoek resident, as she scooped sewage water from an open hatch that is linked to the sewage plant. Dogs and cattle are also drinking from there. In some areas, sewage water is bubbling out from the ground up. The open drain around the structure is filled with water that is about four to six metres deep, making this a dangerous area for children who play there.

Residents claim that their complaints and requests for water tankers to the uThukela Municipality have fallen on deaf ears. “It seems like our local leaders have forgotten about us here in Waaihoek,” said another resident.