Disabled mom fears no running water jeopardising future of her son, 11

2017-07-08 13:20
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Bushbuckridge - An 11-year-old boy in Dark City outside Bushbuckridge juggles an immense daily workload walking 2km to school, looking after his disabled mother and all this in an area that has been struggling to get access to running water for more than 20 years.

Silence Dzombeni's mother Jeanette, 45, said her son was burdened with queuing for water alongside about thousand community members.

“My son faces a difficult task every day having to wake up at 05:00 and prepare to leave for school in theThulamahashe township where he has to walk two kilometres to school” said Dzombeni.

She also said that her child does not rest when he returns from school and instead helps her cook and fetch water.

Nature calls

“I'm helpless about the water situation.  When he gets home, he puts empty buckets in a wheelbarrow and walks to go and queue to fill them.

"He is too young to be battling the challenges he is faced with.  He juggles with walking a long distance to school and coming back home hungry. He needs to do his homework, but he queues for hours to get water and then he comes home to nurse me".

Dzombeni, who is confined to a wheelchair, said Silence was her primary caregiver.

“My son is the one who pushes my broken wheelchair to the bushes when nature calls".

She was worried that her disability and the lack of water in the area threatened her son's future.

“He passes at school but his marks are only average.  I worry that the way he lives will make him give up on himself," she said.

"He wants to become a social worker and I know it will work perfectly because he is a natural caretaker but he needs assistance from the government to better the situation of where he lives".

Distribute water

Spokesperson for the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality, Aubrey Mnisi, said that the community of Dark City will have water in less than four months.

“A budget of R1.5m has been set aside to assist with getting water to the households. The municipality has been going through a financial crisis over the past five years hence not much could have been done over the past few years", he said.

Mnisi said that the Bushbuckridge municipality will come up with a temporary solution to distribute water to Dark City.

“In fifteen days the municipality will have installed communal water pipes in the streets of Dark City as a temporary measure".

In the case of the Dzombeni household, a water tank will be sent to their house for temporary use until the installation of taps.

“We understand that it can’t be easy for the mother to get water for herself and instead becoming a burden to others, especially her son who is still in his developing stages of life,” said Mnisi.

He said the municipality would follow up on the availability of toilets for Dzombeni and her son and they would also also provide assistance regarding the wheelchair.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  service delivery

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