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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Maybe you have a sewage problem?

The other day the sewer "blocked" on our compound. It began to overflow from the wrong end and caused a mess all over where it should not. No one really wanted to attend to the problem so the people closed off the bathroom and chose to seek relief outside the building. It was plain annoying to have a facility within your reach that you cannot use. One bright chap volunteered to" permanently cement off" the offending manhole where the blockage was located.

I came back a few days later and soon found out that people were not using the bathroom. When I asked why I got the full and detailed explanation above. I then asked if anyone had had a look at the problem. I was told, "no". I then asked why and was advised that we should call the plumber. After a little discussion back and forth, I pointed out that it would be unwise to call a plumber before we know what the problem was. As soon as I made that statement, I realized that no one was willing to look at the problem.

At this point, I took off my coat and set aside my tie. I armed myself with a shovel, to deal with anything that might come forth, and asked for help to remove the lid. As the lid was lifted away, all I could see was soil and roots. I soon realized that the root problem was a nearby harmless looking little Fern that had managed to wedge its roots in between the plastic waste pipe and the cement trap box. The Ferns roots had completely covered the sewage outlet. As you can imagine it took me less than three minutes to extract the crime to the amazement of the bystanders who had been suffering for a week.  As the lid was put back on the box, I felt like a surgeon. Then I realized that when no one wants to face the problem, it becomes a job for a consultant.

Allan Bukusi

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