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Clearing channels of communication about sewer blockages<span><p>An all-women team of 30 EPWP workers have been systematically visiting residents of Dunoon to have face-to-face conversations about sewer blockages, why they occur and how to prevent them.</p><p>Each member of the team is equipped with a flipchart that illustrates how the sewer reticulation and stormwater system works and the importance of preventing anything other than human waste from being disposed into it. The team also asked residents about their disposal habits to allow the City to gain a better understanding of underlying factors that motivate illegal dumping into the system.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:936px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>Alderman Limberg visited the team on Wednesday 26 February in Dunoon to thank them for their work over the past month and listen to their thoughts and findings. </p><p>‘Much of what emerged represents challenges known to the City, such as high numbers of backyard dwellers who are not given access to bathrooms in the main house on the property, and debris from busy informal trading activity being swept into stormwater outlets. But there were also points raised that indicate ongoing dialogues and solutions are needed. This includes issues such as barriers to accessible and dignified sanitary ware, and property owners who do not communicate with their tenants. It also emerged that residents were not aware that the sewer and stormwater systems were separate, and that stormwater channels did not connect to wastewater treatment facilities, but drained to rivers and the sea.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:810px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>‘The City is committed to continuing its work with the Dunoon community and others. We hope to build a relationship where all involved play their part for the benefit of functioning infrastructure,’ said Alderman Limberg.</p><p>The programme will run until June this year.</p><p>‘Dunoon is an extremely densely populated suburb and blockages are a daily challenge for residents and City staff alike. Records reflect that 1 577 incidents were reported between 1 January 2019 and 1 March 2020, or approximately 26 blockages per week on average. Although teams are deployed whenever a blockage is reported, high numbers of structures built over manholes mean that staff are often not able to access the most appropriate manhole in order to clear it. For this reason, it is even more important that residents of Dunoon take care of the sewage system,’ said Alderman Limberg.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:836px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span>​​</span><span>​​</span><p><br>Blockages and overflows are not only costly to clear and repair, but also pose serious risks to public and environmental health. </p><p>The door-to-door education and awareness drive is one component of a broader, multi-faceted strategy to reduce pollution in the Diep River catchment portion of Cape Town. While infrastructural investment is a large component of the overall project, human behaviour is critical to minimise our impact on the environment. Similar transversal outreach programmes are being rolled out in other priority areas that experience a high frequency of sewer blockages.  </p><p><br><strong>End</strong><br> </p>2020-03-03T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891d1

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