By Jonk wa Mashamba
A man from Setjwetla informal Settlement came close to disappearing in the rain.
The man had just responded to nature when the rain swept away the toilets he had built next to Juskei River.
Water Sanitation Environment Community Forum Leader, Jacky Sello Matlala is the one who rescued him.
According to Matlala, Samuel Mhluri (30), a Lesotho national, usually goes to the toilet every morning without wearing anything, but just the top covering.
“He was very emotional not feeling well. Remember, where the guy drowned was a distance of about two kilometers to three kilometers,” he said
Matlala said he was very touched when some lady came to his house in the morning to tell him what she saw.
He thought she was joking when she said she saw a man drowning in the river.
“I rushed to the river. But the place where I first went to, he was long gone. I followed the lead and tracked him.”
He said the people in the community watched the guy while he was being swept.
” But no one took an initiative to help the guy until he passed the Marlboro Drive and went to Kelvin.
” I was so emotional. Something in my heart pushed me to go further and followed the river, no matter how dangerous it was.
“I was running along the Juskei River alone not fearing anything, but just wanted to help the poor man.
“I managed to get help from the security around the area. We managed to get warm clothes and I took my jacket that I was wearing so that he would be warm.
“The ambulance took two hours to arrive and he was taken to the Masakhane Clinic and later referred to Edenvale Hospital,” said Matlala.
It appears that it has become normal for some people to build toilets near the riverbank.
Matlala said that some community members who live next to the Juskei River do not have proper service delivery, like running water and the sewer system.
He said that contributed in them erecting toilets around the river, which ultimately exposes them to danger.
Matlala said the dwellers are mainly from Limpopo, Mozambique, Easter Cape and Lesotho.
Matlala is also the project manager of A Rekganyeng Leseding Development Initiative, a non profit organisation that works with 22 women around extension 7 by cleaning the river and sweeping the street in extension 7.
“We are environmental and health organization,” he said.