Thursday, February 09, 2006

Rat-tailed maggots infest Boland river

The Plankenbrug River in Stellenbosch has become so polluted with human excreta that "rat-tailed maggots", found in toilet pits, have colonised the water.

If the river water is swallowed by humans, the maggot causes myiasis, characterised by severe diarrhoea. This can be serious for young children or people who have tuberculosis or HIV.

The E. coli content of the river, measured two weeks ago, was an enormous nine million organisms in every 100ml of water. The safe limit in South Africa is 2 000 in 100ml.

'The municipality had told us the problem of the polluted river was solved'

The Plankenbrug flows into the Eerste River, from which farmers draw water to irrigate crops. The polluted river flows into the sea at Macassar. Read Full environmental tragedy

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