Untreated sewage seeping into the Sundays River, Eastern Cape is causing some serious agricultural threats. Untreated sewage is not something that should be considered lightly, it bears many serious health risks. Although the local Sundays River Valley Municipality took responsibility for the situation, the plan of action and more importantly, when the situation will be resolved, remains extremely vague. It is very possible that the situation will only be cleared by 2013, however, in the meantime, the local citrus industry and farmers remain desperate. The Sundays River Valley is known internationally for exceptional citrus production. Topographical and climate conditions are perfect for producing export quality citrus, as well as notable dairy production. The region’s agricultural industry is the region’s largest economic sector, providing employment to many and a healthy income for the region. But with the continued severe pollution of the Sundays River which provides irrigation water for the region’s agricultural sector, the economic sustainability of the region is now severely threatened. There is no doubt that if this prominent river’s quality is not soon restored, the region will suffer immensely, economically and socially.
The community is putting increasing pressure on the Municipality to take action – and with this sensitive situation, bold action is required – immediately.