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Katima fish vendors’ stalls plagued by sewage overflow

KATIMA Mulilo Open Market fish vendors are forced to operate in sewage-filled stalls daily.

The town’s perennial sewage overflow challenge has been occurring for many years.

During an interview with The Namibian recently, fish vendors said a blockage in the main sewer line causes a backflow that fills their stall drainage lines with sewage water.

“This is not conducive for our business, and inhaling that awful stench every day is not healthy. We have reported this issue several times to the market management, but to no avail. They rather tell us to keep pouring out the sewage water from the drainage line underneath our stalls. However, that does not help because it keeps coming back,” said fresh fish vendor Susan Kasubiza.

She said they pay N$180 for the stalls every month, and expect conducive spaces to operate from.

“We have no choice but to come sell our fish, because we have families to feed. This situation is driving our customers away, because they think our fish is rotten,” she said.

Another fish vendor, Namataa Lyomba, said fish naturally attracts flies, and the sewer water in their stalls’ drainage lines makes this worse.

“Not only does the smell chase away our customers, but seeing so many flies also makes them lose interest. We cannot go sell in the streets, because selling fish needs one to have a cool place and water readily available. We really need a permanent solution for this sewer crisis because it’s unhygienic to sell food in such a place,” she said.

Questions sent to the town’s mayor, Lister Shamalaza, and chief executive officer Raphael Liswaniso went unanswered.

However, during the 2020-21 financial year, the Katima Mulilo Town Council is said to have spent about N$10 million on the re-routing of the town’s sewerage network.

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