Metro officials visited the Selcourt Enclosure Jack Ellis dam last Wednesday, months after the matter of the damaged fence and the unbearable smell were reported.
Although the park has lost its previous aesthetic appeal due to dead trees and apparently dead geese and ducks, several young people still visit the park.
Surprise Mhlambi (27) says the park offers a beautiful yet peaceful atmosphere.
“We come here almost every day during our lunch hour because we love the quietness,” he says.
The soothing effect of the water and the peaceful sound of birds and geese quacking is not a sentiment Selcourt resident Bill Wilson shares with Mhlambi.
Living next to the dam has brought its ups and downs for Wilson.
“Despite the declining of the wildlife population there were also several ducks and geese that died and their carcasses were contributing to the awful smell,” he says.
Wilson’s concerns increased as the environmental health factors deteriorated.
“The stagnant water changed colour to green; the smell, mosquitoes, flies, rats and cats are on the increase,” he says.
He feels strongly about the potential for avian flu infection and cat diseases caused by the quantity of domestic animals and birds combined with the waste food being fed to animals.
Waste is also being dumped at the park area.
Adding to these problems is the undergrowth and long grass that has accumulated over the past 18 years, creating fire and safety hazards.
“Whilst the 50-year-old fence has decayed and allows breeding, access and egress by discarded domestic animals, birds, insects and vagrants as well as children,” says Wilson.
The hazard warning and control signs are non-existent or have been discarded.
“We have often witnessed children swimming in the filthy water,” he says.
The dam, he claims, floods during heavy rains.
He says the local wildlife population has also declined over the past few years.
Wilson says he has seen a couple in a canoe removing eggs over a period of time from the island, where the trees have died for no apparent reason.
His feels the metro should start cleaning up waste and spillage at waste tips in Sheba Road as well as repair the damaged fence.
“Suitable inspection and survey can be done at the discretion of the metro to review actual concerns and the scale of problems that exist,” he says.
According to Wilson, the two metro officials who inspected the dam told him they will look into the concerns he has raised.