Bloemhof water system cleaned, sanitised

2014-05-30 10:42
A resident fills his bucket with water after water supply was restored in Boitumelong township in Bloemhof, North West. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

A resident fills his bucket with water after water supply was restored in Boitumelong township in Bloemhof, North West. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Mahikeng - The water supply system in Bloemhof in the North West has been cleaned and sanitised following water contamination that claimed the life of a baby, the water affairs department said on Friday.

"[The] local municipality drained their whole system, cleaned their sand filters, and the system is now sanitised," spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said.

"The system will be flushed... on Friday."

No cholera

He said Bloemhof was inspected and no cases of cholera had been reported.

"Officials from the department [and other officials]... went on an inspection visit to the affected area, where water samples were drawn.

"At the moment, cases of diarrhoea have been reported and treated, whereas none of cholera have been reported."

He said the results of the water samples were not yet available.

"The samples were drawn primarily from the main reservoir, the source, and neighbouring schools."

The department said it was aware that the contamination in the area was related to a sewage spillage.

A baby died on Wednesday after contracting severe diarrhoea.

On Friday, the health department said another five babies were admitted to hospital for observation.

Over 200 people were treated in local clinics for diarrhoea this week.

Water still brown

Meanwhile, water in Bloemhof was still brown on Friday morning, after the town endured a waterless week.

On Friday morning Sinah Jacobs, from Boitumelong township in Bloemhof, chopped wood in her back yard near an open fire, where two large pots of water were boiling.

Jacobs's eldest son Petrus was sitting on a chair near his mother in the cool morning air.

"The water is still brown and smelly. We boiled it last night and drank it. My eldest son is sick. He did not go to work because of stomach cramps and diarrhoea," Jacobs told Sapa.

Petrus said: "I am sick. I did not sleep throughout the night because of the stomach cramps and diarrhoea. I boiled the water like they [officials from the municipality] said and drank it but it still made me sick."

"The water is back [on] in the area. However, residents are encouraged to boil their water. The municipality will continue to test the water," North West health department spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane said.

Health24: Diarrhoea

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