‘Dirty’ water a concern

2015-09-02 06:00
ANGRY community members near a truck at Bagdad at the time it was there to deliver water.
Tladi Moloi

ANGRY community members near a truck at Bagdad at the time it was there to deliver water. Photo: Tladi Moloi

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QWAQWA. – A case of “mistaken identity” has led to a whole community accusing a construction company of supplying them with dirty drinking water.

A cellphone picture, taken by a concerned resident, of a truck drawing water from a river has led to angry reactions from the community. The photo has been circulated among community members.

In the picture a “construction vehicle”, similar to the one that delivers water to the community of Bagdad and other areas near the Makwane Village, is parked next to the river, collecting water near the Tyrannus Apostolic Church in Qwaqwa.

Morena Litsiabane, the driver who always delivers the water to the area, has, however, rubbished claims of them fetching water from the river.

He did, however, admit that it had once happened that one of their vehicles delivered dirty water to the area.

“It is not true that we fetch water from the river. We fetch it at the industrial area near Mandela Park and sometimes I fetch the water at Makwane,” Litsiabane said.

“I can’t give those poor people dirty water. I also drink that water, because I live here. They might as well go to Makwane and ask the people living there if they have seen us.

“I know those construction vehicles that fetch water from that river. They have tanks which are similar to ours, but the lorries are not the same.”

He said he could not deny the dirty-water issue, because he had been informed thereof.

It is alleged that one of the community members had raised alarm to warn people to stop drinking the water, claiming that it came from the river.

However, some kept on drinking it, since it was the only option they had as the area does not have taps.

To some people it is a concern and they have been on the lookout since having been warned. Soon after the warning Mampho Khumalo (29) spotted a vehicle similar to the one used by the company that delivers water to them twice a week.

Khumalo took a picture of it one morning while she was on her way to work in Phuthaditjhaba. She told Express Eastern Free State that after she had taken the picture, she requested a colleague to drop her off at work and follow the vehicle to see where it was going.

“I was shocked when the colleague told me that it went to our area. I did not believe it at first when someone told us that the water that we had been drinking were from a river. I was shocked when I saw that vehicle at the same river – and it is near a mortuary,” Khumalo said.

Express Eastern Free State visited the area on Wednesday (26/08) to investigate the matter. On arrival the paper found the vehicle in the area filling the Jojo tank which had been placed there for the community.

A couple of fuming community members came very quickly to demand an explanation from the two men who were filling the tank.

They alleged that at times they were given dirty water. The fearless Khumalo stood her ground and added that she once got a worm in the water.

Madiphoko Tshabalala said her ten-year-old child had contracted a stomach problem that resulted in him not going to school a few weeks back. She, however, said she was not sure whether it had been caused by the water.

) Questions were e-mailed to Mpho Mabena, the communications manager at the MaP Water Department, however, at the time of going to print no response had been received

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