Epidemiology expert comments on Cape Town sewer debacle

The City of Cape Town municipality is in the process of applying for a permit to continue spewing millions of liters of raw sewerage every day into the sea around Cape Town. The impacts of this can be seen here

This comment submission puts paid to the City’s denials thus far and their continued ‘head in the sand’ responses. It is clearly evident that the public outcry is not unsubstantiated, nor hysterical!

Dr Jo Barnes is an epidemiologist and senior lecturer in Community Health in the Stellenbosch University Faculty of Health Sciences. She endeavours to drive actions and create awareness about the growing problem of urban water pollution, sanitation and health problems, through her research and community interaction and as speaker on many public forums. Dr Barnes, a recipient of the Order of the Disa of the Western Cape Province, is an associate of the SU Water Institute.

Dr Jo Barnes is widely recognised as a leading expert in her field and a well respected scientist among communities in the Western Cape. She is well known for her hands on approach in finding the root causes of disease in communities. She can often be seen knee deep in areas that very few people would be willing to even go near. Because of her passion and dedication she has suffered through numerous infections, some extremely serious in her pursuit of creating a safe and healthy environment for the citizens of the Western Cape.

Epidemiology is the science that studies the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is the cornerstone of public health, and informs policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare.


Here Dr Barnes is interviewed by Nancy Richards on SAFM where she explains the serious health risks associated with the continued use of outfall sewers.

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In applying for this permit the City of Cape Town is required to obtain public comment. The application is specific to the marine sewer outfalls at Hout Bay, Camps Bay and Green Point. The comment period began on the 1st June and ends on 10th July 2015.

Comment, input or recommendation can be submitted via:

Fax to 021 423 9540

E-mail to Kevin.Samson@capetown.gov.za

Written submission can be posted to P.O Box 16548 Vlaeberg 8018

There is also an online comment form which can be used at http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/PublicParticipation/Pages/Commentapplicationcoastalwatersdischargepermit.aspx

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