South Africa: Durban Mother Dead, Scores Sick With Diarrhoea As Polluted Tap Water Confirmed

In response to questions from Our Burning Planet after the death of Rashnie Baijnath, the eThekwini Municipality confirmed that tap water in the Birchwood area, west of the city, ‘does not meet acceptable standards for human consumption’.

The grieving family and relatives of a Durban mother — who died after a severe bout of diarrhoea — have been left wondering whether she would still be alive if municipal officials had acted faster to warn the community and rectify the source of polluted tap water in Mariannhill.

Sick and dehydrated, Rashnie Baijnath (38) died on her way to hospital on 10 August, leaving behind her husband, Suraj, and two children — 18-month-old daughter Shriya and 17-year-old son Keenan

Scores of residents in the Mariannhill/Birchwood area of Durban are sick with diarrhoea, believed to be due to drinking tap water polluted in the aftermath of widespread water and sewerage infrastructure collapses in Durban during the April floods.

In response to written questions from Our Burning Planet after the death of Baijnath, the eThekwini Municipality confirmed on 19 August that tap water in the Birchwood area, west of the city, “does not meet acceptable standards for human consumption”. It also advised residents to…

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