Agric Dept plagued by water shortages

2010-10-01 00:00

THE Department of Agriculture’s head offices at the Cedara College are plagued by water shortages so severe that portable toilets and water coolers have been brought to the offices to alleviate the plight of the workers.

Workers at the department say their water supply has been erratic since August.

“In the main office, four portable toilets have been brought in to accommodate the estimated 300 workers there, and another two toilets have been brought in for the management and the MEC,” said the source.

“And for drinking water we have coolers on every floor of the building.”

The source said the situation is horrible for many workers at the office. “There have even been stories that some workers had been using the bush as the toilet, while others drive to the nearby township and to Hilton.

“But there are many people who come here on a bus so they are stuck,” continued the source.

The workers said they are concerned that the problems would persist as it seemed no-one knew exactly how to control the situation.

“So far no reasonable explanation has been given. First they said it was an issue with Umgeni water, then it was a blockage and now they say there was not enough water pressure.”

Another source who confirmed the situation said the workers had struggled, saying water is available one day and the next day not.

“Since the beginning of the strike, there have been water issues and there are different explanations.”

The source said it is fortunate that there is a water tanker and dams so that they are able to provide water for the animals.

Ncumisa Mafunda, spokesperson for the department, confirmed that they are experiencing problems which their technicians are working on.

“The initial problem, which was caused by a broken valve, was resolved.

“However, when water started flowing, the pressure of the water damaged the pipes. This was attended to and new pipes were installed. We then had water in all buildings except the main and the executive buildings.”

She said the water stopped flowing to the department’s buildings again on Wednesday night and they are busy working at resolving the problem.

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