Salty water situation, a health disaster waiting to happen

2015-11-11 06:01

FOR those who have bottled water, you can survive the day. Think of those who don’t, and can’t buy bottled water. Where is our humanity?

The causes and effects of this problem must be researched and studied in detail. As lack of drinking water affects survival and quality of life, we as citizens of South Africa, have the right to have the laws and standards, regulating the water supply and purification systems explained to us in detail such as SANS 241, 2011, The National Water Act, Blue Drop Status, etc.

We also need, as responsible citizens and members of our families, to take ownership and involvement in the resolution of this problem. We cannot always be armchair critics in times of crisis.

People need to be made aware of the harmful effects of excessive consumption of salt on the human body and especially people with underlying health issues such as high blood pressure, scarred kidneys, etc. The threat of contracting new diseases due to this type of water contamination must be communicated truthfully to the citizens affected.

It is heard that many are turning to drinking river water in some areas, which may lead to other water-borne diseases.

The effect of this crisis on tourism and the local economy as a whole must be quantified.

An independent body, to record incidents of ill health that is linked to the contaminated water supply is required to gain a clear picture and prevent any hidden or distorted reports.

Have other coastal towns and cities the same problem of salt-contaminated water.

What is unique about Ugu Municipality water supply system? Is poor rainfall the only cause of the salt content in the water? What are the laws in terms of drawing sea water or water that is close to the river mouth, for human and animal consumption?

Did Ugu Municipality come clean and tell its citizens everything in terms of the extent and imminent threat of this predictable, bleak reality?

What were the long-term plans in terms of improving water storage such as bigger dams, desalination and pipelines to cope with population growth and drought contingencies.

Is there a plan or even talks of such future budgets?

Whether the Ugu Municipality is dragging its feet or seeing this as a crisis is yet to be seen in its efforts to communicate, protect and provide relief for its citizens. How far are provincial and national spheres of government going to assist?

What are the detail plans to urgently address this current crisis and prevent such recurrence of this water contamination in the future? A detailed public statement is expected from the Ugu District Municipality.

I call on citizens of Ugu Municipality to be united and not to be complacent about issues like these.

“Love thy neighbour as thy self” is being tested, when we know of many who cannot afford to buy bottled water and many who are vulnerable at this time such as children, the elderly, those with health issues, etc.

How are the hundreds of schools going to supply clean water to its pupils in this hot summer weather, is just one of the many questions that must be answered.

Please unite to address this serious situation. To form a South Coast Water Crisis Committee, call Mr E. Rangasamy on 061 352 7186.

E. Rangasamy

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