Week-long water cut

2016-08-23 10:41
Richmond resident Tashnika Jugree was one of the residents without water for seven days.

Richmond resident Tashnika Jugree was one of the residents without water for seven days. (Ricky Jugree)

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Richmond  residents collected rain water to use in their homes this past weekend as Monday marked their seventh day without water.

It seems the cause of the halt in their water supply has not yet been determined.

Shami Harichunder of Umgeni Water said it was a reticulation problem and referred The Witness to uMgungundlovu District Municipality.

Spokesperson Mbali Ndlovu said the district’s technicians have been inspecting all reticulation valves at every road intersection, estimated at over 20 valves, and the necessary repairs were conducted.

“The flow on the outlet is low, which may be caused by a blockage that feeds towards the affected areas.

“Our operations and maintenance technicians have been tirelessly inspecting all valves and even fire hydrants to check for airlocks,” Ndlovu said.

She said they expected water supply to be restored on Monday night and urged residents to store water when water supply is operational once again.

It is believed Shepstone, Russell, Princess, Lamport, Harding, Pine, Campbell and Alberts streets have been affected.

David Matthewson, who lives in Victoria Street, said the community understands the province is a drought-stricken area but the lack of communication from the authorities was “most frustrating”.

Matthewson said he was “absolutely disgusted” with the manner in which the situation was handled.

He said they received water for two days last week but their taps were dry over the weekend.

“This morning [Monday] there was a little bit of water that came out of the taps but not enough to have a shower with. There was no warning and nobody is taking responsibility,” he said.

Matthewson said he called the Richmond Municipality but they “never pick up the phone”.

The Matthewsons said they were lucky that their neighbour had a JoJo tank and was willing to share water with them.

“We haven’t seen any municipal water tankers. They are obviously going somewhere but they are definitely not coming here. The municipality’s entire system is flawed,” Matthewson said.

Another resident, Ricky Jugree, said the municipality are “passing the buck”. He said he called the local municipal office but no one could explain what the problem was.

“Nobody knows what is going on. Richmond Municipality said we must call the district municipality, but the district office said they do not know and we must call Umgeni,” Jugree said.

He said he and his family were forced to shower at his extended family’s homes.

“On the weekend we basically spent the whole time out of the area. We don’t know who to turn to because even the ward councillors are clueless as to what is going on here,” Jugree said.

Ndlovu said that although it was the district municipality’s responsibility to send water tankers to residents without water, most of their tankers were sent to extremely drought-stricken areas.

“There was a water tanker dispatched to Richmond Primary School this past weekend. However, due to the drought currently being experienced the majority of our water tankers have been dispatched to extremely drought-stricken areas such as Hhela Hhela, Ozwathini, Muden, and many others,” Ndlovu said.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  water supply

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