Hardship due to water shortage

2017-11-01 06:01

WARD 10 and Ward 16 residents have been without water since Sunday, October 15, and according­ to Ward 16 councillor, Bheka- bantu­ Zuma, this is due to damaged pumps that feed the reservoirs in Imbali Unit 18, which distribute water to these areas.

“I called the municipality on Wednesday [October 18] to inquire about the water issue and was told that water is starting to be pumped into the reservoirs, but it takes a while until water can supply the community,” Zuma said.

He said under normal circumstances, in certain wards - Bongudumo and Bhiza - the water is supplied intermittently, which is why a tanker distributes there.

Ward 10 councillor, Nkosinathi Gambu said it is difficult to confirm when the water supply would be restored because the availability of water is a national crisis.

He said another contributing factor is the topography of certain parts in the ward with higher lying areas facing a greater problem since higher water pressure is required to feed water into pipes.

Illegal water connections are another contributing factor said Gambu.

He said two tankers supply residents in the ward, however, these are a limited resource, which should be shared. The three schools and two clinics in the area are prioritised by the tankers.

A KwaPata resident, Noxolo Ngcobo, said water has been unavailable since Sunday.

“I heard neighbours say a pipe burst where the construction of RDP houses is under way,” Ngcobo said.

She said on regular days in her section water supply is also intermittent, and the most affected section in KwaPata is the kwaMtaliyane area.

Thandeka Zulu, a kwaMtaliyane resident, said she arrived there in January and since then the taps have been dry.

She said on Thursday October 19, and three days before that a water tanker did the rounds, however, it is inconsistent and it is unknown­ when it would be in certain sections again.

“People really get desperate for water here,” Zulu said.

Her neighbour, Thobile Zulu said the issue has been ongoing for almost a year.

“At some point the councillor told us the problem is with valves. Then we were told there is a shortage of water. I also heard there was an issue with the contract signed with the owners of the water tankers, however, that was something I heard in the neighbourhood,” Zulu said.

She said sometimes they go without water for a week and no tankers do the rounds.

Another resident, Bongekile Mchunu, said on Thursday a water tanker did make the rounds in the section, however, it did not have enough water for everyone, resulting in people having to go back home with half-full or empty containers.

She said three months ago there was water in the taps, but only for two days.

“Community leaders are constantly told about the situation and they keep saying they will fix it, but nothing has happened so far,” Mchunu said.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson, Thobeka Mafumbatha said the water supply to the area has not been cut.

“The challenges being faced by the community has to do with their location as a result of water reduction, by uMgeni Water­ as gazetted by the national minister, of 15%. And yes, there are water tankers in the area. As you might be aware, the water issue is a national crises. We have not received any formal complaint with regards to water tankers not being enough because we provide water tankers according to the needs of the community,” she said.

She said the matter will be communicated to the ward councillors so it can be accordingly addressed at their next community meetings.

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