From dead cow to restricted water flow

2015-09-09 06:00

TWO messages came over loud and clear at the public meetings on the water situation last Tuesday and Wednesday in Greytown and Enhlalakahle.

The first was that drastic urgent action has to be taken and is being taken to ensure that Umvoti residents do not run out of water. The second was that Umzinyathi and Umvoti municipalities do not care as not one official bothered to attend either of the meetings.

One Umvoti councillor, the DA’s Paul Buss, was present and Councillor Nzama was at the Enahlalkahle meeting which was attended by nine residents.

These meetings were called by Umzinyathi Municipality at very short notice on the instructions of the Department of Water and Sanitation. Advertising consisted of handfuls of pamphlets being thrown out of a car window­ into the streets of Greytown.

At the meeting in the Greytown Town Hall about 20 residents were present. The meeting was supposed to be conducted by Umzinyathi acting municipal manager, Thami Malunga, who did not appear, so Pradeep Ramlall, consultant to Umzinaythi, and Gibson Gumede­ of the Department of Water took the meeting.

The main thrust was that in view of the fact that 800 or so households were using up to 40kL a month, water restrictors were to be installed – this would ensure a continuous supply of water, but at a very reduced flow. Eventually all water consumers would have these meters installed.

Lake Merthley is 17% full, and as has been seen from recent published photographs where there was water, there is now mud. Last Monday it is reported, that a Umvoti Municipal TLB team was instructed to remove a dead cow from the lake.

This turned into an extremely expensive exercise for the municipality (and ratepayers) in that, like water, mud is not to be walked or driven upon. The vehicle sank up to its roof top in succulent, oozing, clinging mud. A special tow team had to be brought in from Pietermaritzburg, at considerable cost, to rescue the TLB.

Unfortunately, it seems no photos were taken and no one seems to know what happened to the dead cow.

While rain is being recorded in parts of KZN, Umvoti is not included. So please, once again, do not waste water – use it as sparingly as possible and recycle where possible. Remember every­ single drop of this precious commodity counts

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