Civil Designer Showcase

The Moses Mabida Project

Gerald Smith from Jeffares & Green Port Elizabeth lives life to the full. He spends long and intense hours as a Design Technician and then finds freedom while fishing from his kayak at sea. His amazing sense of humour is coupled with the ability to stay project focused even in turbulent waters, a philosophy which he has exercised in particular with the Moses Mabida project.

The interesting Moses Mabida venture originated because there was a lack of waterborne sanitation in the Kirkwood area. The township, situated within the Sundays River Valley Municipal area, is located approximately 3,5 kilometres from Kirkwood central business district along the Enon Road in the southern part of the Eastern Province. The background of the project begins with the self-constructed pit-latrines system used by the residents of Moses Mabida.

"One of the problems that has been identified is that the current system creates pollution, is unhygienic and can result in epidemics like cholera occurring. Another problem is the actual subsurface conditions in Kirkwood which has a low permeability factor. Effluent from the pit-latrines therefore contaminates ground water, which in turn could surface in adjacent rivers," explains Gerald.

The raw sewage flow problem from Kirkwood, Moses Mabida and Emsengeni has been alleviated with the construction of a new wastewater treatment works (WWTW). "Civil Designer was used extensively during the sewer design and erf connection analysis on the project. The WWTW has now been completed with the works currently in progress. The residents of Moses Mabida occupy approximately 1500 erven which is almost fully water reticulated with a standpipe on every erf."

"Informal settlement has however taken place within the area resulting in approximately 230 additional erven within Moses Mabida. In many cases there is more than one dwelling on an erf with more than one family occupying the erf. This has led to VIP toilets being constructed but has resulted in pollution of the subsurface water, identifying the need for an appropriate sanitation in Moses Mabida."
  According to Gerald, the project forms part of the IDP for the Sundays River Valley Municipality and intends to provide waterborne sanitation facilities to approximately 1730 erven in the residential areas of Kirkwood, Moses Mabida and Emsengeni. Once constructed, this will reduce the health hazards associated with pit-latrine sanitation systems.

When asked about project challenges Gerald laughs. “Kirkwood’s new wastewater treatment works was completed at the end of last year, but it will only be possible to fully utilise the works once sewers are installed to approximately 1730 erven currently served by a pit-latrine sanitation system. This in itself will be a challenge,” he says.

Due to the considerable amount of funds required, the project has been divided into five phases. The first phase which is currently nearing its completion consists of the outfall sewer pipeline from Moses Mabida to the WWTW, as well as the upgrading of 70 erven. The next phase tackles the upgrade of approximately 380 erven followed by phase three which intends to upgrade a further 375 erven. The final two phases consists of the upgrading of 400 erven and finally another 505 erven.

To Gerald, the highlight of this multifaceted project has been its challenging nature every step of the way. "Resolving all the obstacles in this venture has been extremely satisfying. The next few phases will be equally challenging but I am willing to face it head on." Gerald's positive attitude and good natured approach are clear attributes to his success.

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