Umvoti taps dry - lake at 11%

2016-06-22 06:00
Umvoti taps run dry.

Umvoti taps run dry.

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IT is no longer a crisis, it is a full-blown disaster. As from Monday this week the only water available to residents is from the Jojo street tanks, which will only be filled once a day.

Residents were taken aback to read in last Thursday's Witness that Umvoti's water service provider, Umzinyathi District Municipality, and the Department of Water and other role players had made the decision in view of the very low level of Lake Merthley (11.72% this week) to stop the reticulation of water to Greytown residents.

Urgent efforts are being made by officials and concerned business people to meet with the KZN Premier to request that Umvoti be declared a disaster area - outlying districts are equally badly affected - in Muden the canals have dried up and the Mooi River is barely flowing. Many of the rural areas in Umvoti have been experiencing serious shortages for months and have been forced to pay for delivered water.

At this time there is not much point in recriminations - if Umzinyathi had taken action earlier, if Umvoti Municipality had monitored the illegal use of water in the town, the vandalisation and theft of Jojos, if both municipalities had regularly communicated with the residents, if the Craigieburn pipeline had not been delayed at astronomical costs and if Phase 2 had not shut down for three weeks.

These “ifs” do not achieve anything - residents, have to accept that Umvoti's water supply is extremely limited and will not improve until the much-needed rains arrive

Umvoti Municipality has issued a press statement pointing out to residents “that no private tanks will be filled by the [Aqua] tankers supplying water. Please take charge of the Jojo tank in your area and notify the Umzinyathi offices or the Umvoti Municipal offices of any leaks and/or damage or theft.

Jojo tanks placed in the streets are for the use of the residents in that vicinity, bakkies loaded with containers are not allowed.

Special precautions need to be in place at this critical time, you are requested not to light fires in your garden or other places that could result in a fire breakout and ensure that your taps are closed properly and that water is used wisely.

Residents will be notified in the Greytown Gazette of any changes to the situation. Updates will be given at regular intervals or when received from the district municipality. Jojo tanks will also be assessed at regular intervals.

You are urged to restrict the drilling of boreholes as this is now tapping into the town’s reserves. You are also requested to notify the municipality of any boreholes on your property.

Residents, this is a critical situation - your co-operation and understanding is needed.

Keep Greytown in your prayers as we desperately need divine intervention.”

A public meeting is to be held on Friday 24 June in the town hall at 10am. It has been called by Operation Sukuma Sakha, which operates through Umvoti Municipality with the purpose of discussing the water crisis.

Should you be experiencing any problems emergency numbers are 033 417 2911 - 24 hours, 033 413 9100 - Umvoti Municipality, Monday to Friday, 8am until 4pm, 033 413 1946 - Umzinyathi satellite offices (Greytown).

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