Street vendors operating in the Metro Taxi rank in Maseru complain that they are forced to work in unhealthy conditions of overflowing sewage spills that have been going on for years now.
The overflow is said to come from a shuttered public toilets sewer line and runs all over the place forcing those who remain there to sell working under those uncomfortable conditions of sewage reek which they say is costing them customers.
One street vendor told this paper in a recent interview that people do not buy their products and they too are disgusted by the sewage which is forever flowing.
She said the toilets are still being used like nothing is wrong and the rightful authorities such as the Maseru City Council (MCC) and Water and Sewage Company (WASCO) have done nothing to remedy the situation.
MSMEâ€™s Deputy Chairman Teboho â€˜Mei said the conditions that the Metro taxi rank vendors work in are not acceptable at all.
He said the authorities need for them (vendors) to be hostile so that services are rendered referring to when the Thibella taxi rank vendors had no water and all it took was for the vendors to stop some activities instructed by MCC to happen for them to finally get water.
He said there is no maintenance done whatsoever, and those pipes are old and wearing off hence they are those leaks.
â€˜Mei said what affects other zones where vendors operate affects all of them saying the rightful authorities should attend to the issues faced by vendors in the Metro taxi rank.
For his part, MCC Spokesperson Khotso Makamo told this paper that they work with WASCO when it comes to issues of sewer leaks saying it was WASCOâ€™s responsibility to cover that department.
â€œIt is WASCOâ€™s responsibility to see to it that issues of sewage leaks are taken care of and not of MCC,â€ he said.
WASCO Information Manager Lineo Moqasa, however, told this publication that they were not aware of the leaks in the Metro taxi rank but said her team will attend to the matter as soon as possible.
â€œIt is our responsibility as WASCO to see to it that any sewage leakage in the town of Maseru is attended to and fixed. Our office will attend to the issue and have it fixed,â€ she said.
Moqasa however pleaded with the public to not flush down anything else other than toilet tissue into the toilets as those are some of the things that can lead to leakages.
She said people especially those in taxi ranks have a tendency of opening the manholes and throwing waste such as oils and other things saying those too could be a reason to the leakages.