Canal a health hazard, say residents

Hanover Park residents are fed up with a smelly canal.

A clean-up has done little to rid a Hanover Park canal of its foul stench and mosquito swarms, say those living nearby.

The canal which cuts through the neighbourhood, along Downberg Road, has been a problem for a while, they say.

Yaseen Johaar has lived in the area for about 15 years and said the canal had been in bad shape for at least the past three years.

Illegal dumping in the waterway was a big problem, he added.

“The colour of the water is green and black and it smells like filth. In summer, it’s so bad and the mosquitoes are so bad. The mosquitoes go into people’s homes; we cannot keep our windows or doors open.

One day, there was more than 20 mosquitoes in the house at a time. We’ve complained to the ward councillor many times since years ago.”

He also complained that bridges over the canal had no railings – they had been stolen about five years ago and had never been replaced, he said.

Hanover Park neighbourhood watch spokeswoman Kashiefa Mohammed said the canal had become a health hazard.

“Why must people first complain before something gets done?” she said. “We’ve been complaining about it for years already. People can’t even open their windows or doors; it is a horrible place.”

Ward councillor Antonio van der Rheede said the canal had been cleaned from April to September after the City’s health department had tested the water and had found faeces in it.

“The canal was also being dumped in excessively, which caused a blockage thus the water remained stagnant and a stench came from it,” he said.

“I urge residents not to dump in the canal. It has been cleaned up and the mosquitoes are lessening. I thank everyone that was involved. I urge the community to play their role.”