Intervention combats water crisis

2020-02-05 06:00

In an effort to combat the severe water crisis in Qwaqwa, Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, made a commitment to deliver water tanks to residents.

Sisulu made this promise when visiting the town on 23 January in the wake of residential uproar to coerce government intervention.

Sisulu said that her department will deliver tanks to enable households to harvest water.

She held a meeting with residents and officials of both the provincial and national government,tFree State government and nationally as well as well as representatives of the struggling Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality.

According to media reports, ten 16 000 litre trucks and 1 000 water tanks are expected to be delivered this week.

To supplement this immediate intervention, Sisulu also announced that R220 million will be made available to address the crisis of water unavailability.

These intervention efforts were expedited by violent protests by Qwaqwa residents who took to the streets after Modisa Mbhele’s (7) death.

She drowned in the Kgopje River while attempting to fetch water on 18 January.

The authorities of the municipality and Maluti-a-Phofung Water are blamed for the death of the child, citing failure to maintain infrastructure and clean the dam.

The water crisis has been dragging on since 2015, which resulted in the drastically decreased water levels of the Fika Patso Dam.

This dam, which supplies water to the greater Qwaqwa region, is reportedly at 37,2%, which is insufficient to provide water to the growing population of this former homeland.

The DA has described the water problems in Qwaqwa as a humani­tarian crisis.

According to Leona Kleynhans, DA member of the provincial legislature, the R50 million to R200 million allocated to water infrastructure for the period of 2015 to 2019 is unaccounted for.

She said the money was “used for other purposes”.

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