Estuary forces BCM to take over dysfunctional pump station
By Khuthala Nandipha
Following a legal threat by the Nahoon Estuary Management Forum to force the government to act swiftly against the privately owned and dysfunctional Maldives Group Housing Development pump station in Beacon Bay, the Metro has agreed to maintain it.
The filthy pump station along the N2 has been an obvious health risk for at least three years.
The Forum reported a spillage to the Buffalo City Municipality and the Department of Water and Sanitation but nothing was done. It is only after the Forum’s attorney sent a letter to the Municipality that they agreed to meet.
“This resulted in two meetings and a commitment from the Municipality to repair the dysfunctional pump station. They will also maintain it in future in order to prevent any more spillages which eventually ends up in the Estuary,” said Christo Theart, chairperson of the Forum.
The station had not been working for three years, resulting in about 30 000 litres of raw sewerage ending up in the stormwater system of the N2 and eventually in the Nahoon River Estuary every day.
Presently, the pump station has open pumps spilling sewage, panty liners and pads into the open field right next to the station. More pumps come from various households, but they lead to nowhere.
The neighbourhood used to belong to the Maldives Home Owners Association and is formerly managed by Trafalgar Property Management. However, Trafalgar confirmed that the company has not been managing properties at Maldives for three years. The Association was dissolved which led to the abandonment of the pump station.
According to Samkelo Ngwenya, spokesperson for the Metro, the non-existence of the Homeowners Association is in contravention of development approval conditions. The developer reportedly left the country.
In October 2019, Ngwenya had said, “The challenge is that Buffalo City Metro is not responsible for the pump station, as they don’t own it, nor the land where it is located in. We, therefore, cannot spend municipal funds on the privately owned pump station. The issue is, therefore, a non-compliance with development approval conditions, which should be dealt with at a level of enforcement of municipal bylaws and environmental protection. Alternatively, the municipality should negotiate taking over the pump station from the private developer”.