Sewage water a health risk
Doctors have warned of a possible disease outbreak in waterlogged parts of the Eastern Cape after severe flooding caused widespread damage to sewerage infrastructure.
Port Alfred National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) volunteer Darryl Olivier yesterday said he feared for his life when he vomited blood after he spent days helping to rescue people from sewage-contaminated water in a caravan park.
Although Olivier was hardest-hit, his girlfriend Jade Fraser and at least four other NSRI volunteers also suffered from diarrhoea and nausea after working in the water.
Olivier said he was warned by a doctor that there was a strong possibility he had an e coli bacteria infection that could have been fatal had it not been treated properly.
Local government and traditional affairs MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane and other officials raised fears earlier this week of possible health risks to the public from the large pools of contaminated water.
Qoboshiyane said the overflow of sewage into a water treatment plant in Grahamstown was life-threatening.