Greytown ... the forgotten drought-stricken community

2018-03-28 06:01
Lake Merthely this week, at 58,16%.

Lake Merthely this week, at 58,16%.

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ONE good thing about the month of March was that it actually rained, not just a light drizzle but all 105 mms of it.

But before Greytonians get excited at the thought of maybe not having to shower in a bucket anymore, Lake Merthley on Monday was 58,16% full.

As can be seen from the photograph taken over the weekend by Murray Mason, the lake still has a long, long way to go.

His rainfall records for March show a total of 136 mm for the month, of which 85 mm was recorded last week.

This has led to the wetlands, for the first time in three to four years, being under water, and streams leading into the headwaters are running.

Although this is a summer rainfall area, the weather fundis are still forecasting rain.

From today until Friday, hot temperatures in the low 30s are forecast but no rain. On Saturday and Sunday, it will still be hot with a 60% chance of rain.

From Monday to next Wednesday, it’s chilly at 18º Celsius, with heavy rains predicted for Tuesday.

Greytown seems to have become one of the forgotten drought-stricken areas despite the fact that residents have lived with severe water restrictions for the past three years. And these restrictions have been compounded by the total breakdown of water tanks being placed in strategic areas throughout the town and surrounds.

Listen to the media, check social media, read the newspaper. Has Greytown been mentioned? No!

Cape Town — yes! Even Greytown’s internationally renowned evangelist Angus Buchan targeted Cape Town (not Greytown) with a well-publicised prayer for rain (and against gangsterism) last weekend in Mitchells Plain, attracting thousands of people.

News 24 reports that he had promised rain, and instead of the downpour he had hoped for, drizzle fell over the Swartklip sports field. He and his followers in parched Cape Town were overjoyed, swaying with the umbrellas they had taken along.

For the past three years or so, water consumers in the area have naively believed the promises made by Greytown’s water service provider, Umzinyathi District Municipality, and on a lesser scale by Umvoti Municipality, that the Craigieburn pipeline will solve all water supply problems. What a farce, with corrupt contractors damning the first couple of years by overspending millions with little to show.

Now, despite a high court interdict against the Mnymvumbu community, obtained by Umzinyathi last year, the final pipe connection from Craigieburn has not been made.

This community claims that the water belongs to them and have threatened to block roads and launch serious protests. The Mpfana Municipality also promised the Mnymvumbu community electricity, a community hall, shopping centre, etc. As Mpfana is broke and owes Eskom millions, this is not going to happen.

It would be good if someone out there, including the powers that be, did something more positive about Greytown’s water supply. Now!

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