Residents feel effect of water crisis

2015-06-04 06:00
PHOTO: nompendulo Ngubane

A Machibisa resident points to water that constantly runs through the area.

PHOTO: nompendulo Ngubane A Machibisa resident points to water that constantly runs through the area.

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RESIDENTS of a number of areas, such as Machibisa in Dambuza, Thornville and Maqonqo and Pietermaritzburg, among others, are feeling the effects of a water crisis.

Thornville residents pay vans to fetch water from the police station. Machibisa and Dambuza (Ward 21) residents say they are used to the weekend water shortages.

The only source of water in the Maqonqo area is Chachacha River, and according to residents the crisis has been ongoing since 2006.

Sipho Ngcobo said the water tanker doesn’t come for weeks.

“Twelve families share water from one tank and it doesn’t last a day. We have had meetings, but they don’t help or make any difference. There is a tanker that comes once or twice a week. Sometimes it doesn’t come at all and we have to fetch water from the dirty river. There is cow’s dung in the river and people throw all kinds of rubbish in the same river we fetch water­ from.

“We have no choice. That river is the only source of water. We worry that we might get sick, but there is nothing we can do.”

UMgungundlovu district municipality communications officer Mbali Mwandla said the increase in population in the area led to additional demand for water. She said at the beginning of June the area will have a sustainable supply of water.

“This indicates that we are still going to face a major water crisis, said Nkanyiso Zimu from Ward 21 in Machibisa.

“A week never finishes without a water shortage. Water is a priority and without water everything else stops. We urge to municipality to inform us if there is to be a water shortage, that way we can prepare and keep water in containers.

“What is also frustrating is that whenever we call the municipality water call centre no one answers,” said Zimu.

The Machibisa area has an issue of communal standpipes.

The Msunduzi municipality acting marketing and communications manager Nqobile Madonda said communal standpipes are acceptable ways of providing water and are owned by council and communities.

“However, it is unfortunate that at times such infrastructure which brings this much-needed precious water to the communities is destroyed by the communities it seeks to help.

“Council is further investigating a more robust form of communal standpipes less susceptible to vandalism and damage,” said Madonda


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