Without water, I wanted to commit suicide, says Senekal resident

2016-01-08 09:00
Senekal residents queuing for water. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Senekal residents queuing for water. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Bloemfontein – The prospect of living without water in Senekal in the Free State has simply become unbearable for most residents. 

A woman who wished to remain anonymous told News24 on Thursday that she had been severely affected by the lack of water in the area and was almost driven to take her own life.  

The town has not had running water since December 14.

“On Monday it got too much for me and I wanted to commit suicide but I couldn’t do it – and two days later, a close friend committed suicide because of what we are facing in this town."  

 She declined to divulge any information about her friend.

“I too couldn’t handle it anymore. It is just too much.  Everything had dried up completely and we keep running around town looking for water,” said the tearful woman.

Shops, restaurants and petrol stations have started putting up "no toilets" signs, with some running out of bottled water.    

The woman said she mainly collected water from an old age home.

The Setsoto local municipality also provided more than 260 000 litres of water a day to residents. 

Water services manager Thabo Mokhethoa said each household received 50 litres per day.

The woman was not the first to consider taking her life as the drought became increasingly unbearable. 

In the Eastern Cape, a farmer took his life in December when he was faced with the possibility of losing everything because of drought.  

A friend, Jacques Roodt, told News24 that Krisjan Kruger, 34, had been severely affected by the drought.

"We are currently experiencing the worst drought... in years and it was hard for him to wake up and see his dry land. He lived and gave his life for this land and he eventually crashed," said Roodt.

Kruger was a commercial cattle farmer.

"If only he had waited a bit, because a day later it rained," he said.

Water and animal feed were scarce in the area and many farmers were suffering, he said.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  water

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