Officials awash in water chaos

2015-10-28 06:00

AS Greytonians do their utmost to conserve water, some officials from Umzinyathi Municipality, Department of Water, Umvoti Municipality, Cogta and the Umvoti Water Crisis committee appear to be at odds and not quite sure what actually is happening, in a classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

To further compound the situation, Umzinyathi District Municipality has now brought uThukela Water onto the scene – Umvoti has not dealt with the uThukela for years.

Its official – a ruling from the Department of Water and Sanitation drought co-ordinating committee said that Greytown households are restricted to 200 litres of water per day and that, as previously announced, municipal water will only be available between 4am and 8am.

Unfortunately, a number of residents were caught short last week as the cut- off was announced too late for the Greytown Gazette and was circulated on social media only – and not everyone has this resource.

However, Umzinyathi has officially announced this ruling – see the advertisement on page 6.

Since September 2014 appeals have been made through the Greytown Gazette to save water and not to waste it. While the majority conformed and have done, and are still are doing their best, there were, and still are, as can be seen in various photos in the paper, some ignoring this drastic situation.

Lake Merthley, which has been dropping steadily as the long-awaited spring rains did not arrive, now stands at 10% and as at 1 November no more water will be drawn from it.

An emergency meeting on the drought was called by Cogta in Greytown last Friday and included the role players mentioned above as well as various consultants. It was reported by Thami Malunga of Umzinyathi that to counteract the lack of abstraction from the lake, five new bore holes had been equipped and a further 10 were to be sited and fully equipped within a month to compensate.

It was also reported that the pipeline from the new bore holes to the Greytown reticulation plant would be trenched, laid and pumping within two days (by yesterday). However, due to unforeseen intervention by Umzinyathi District Municipality the contractor, who was well into completing the job to supply this water by yesterday, was replaced through the intervention of uThukuthela Water.

It was apparent at Friday’s meeting that Cogta and Umzinyathi were unaware of the action, decisions and work undertaken by the Department of Water Affairs and the Umvoti Water Crisis committee to ensure that there is a supply of water for residents in Greytown, Enhalalakhale, France, Angola and Solomon.

Once again, until the bore-hole situation is stabilised, this is an urgent appeal to every single person in Umvoti – please do your best to save this very precious commodity.

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