No running water for community

2019-05-08 06:01
PHOTOS: lethiwe makhanyaMaboni Ngcobo fetching drinking water from a small river in the forest.

PHOTOS: lethiwe makhanyaMaboni Ngcobo fetching drinking water from a small river in the forest.

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Diarrhoea almost everyday has become a normal thing for people of Ebaleni in Sweetwaters due to the dirty water they drink.

Community members who live in this area say they have to share water with dogs and cows from a small river in the forest.

They say it has been over 10 years since they were promised taps with running water but till today they are still suffering.

They say sometimes water tanks that come to the area once a week, but with not enough water.

“Even the water that we get from the water tank is dirty and not healthy. Sometimes the water tanks come with water that is not enough for everyone in the community.

“If that happens then we are forced to go to the river to fetch water that we share with the cows and dogs.

“We go to the river and find a dog swimming in it. We then have to wait because we need that water and we have to drink it,” said Phindile Ngcobo who is one of the affected residents.

Zwelihle Zimu said he sometimes has to buy water at one of the households in KwaZayeka in Sweetwaters.

“I pay R25 per 25 bucket and I carry eight of these buckets.

It usually lasts me about four days and I sometimes buy more if I have money. This is not life.We can not continue living like this, it has been too long.

“We were promised that we would get running water but till today we are still waiting.

When we are asking what is the hold up we are told that the municipality does not have the equipment to connect the water pipes,” he said.

He said community members even volunteered to dig the holes for the water pipes but the municipality and the councillor refused saying that they have to wait.

Residents in this area are not only complaining about dirty water but they are also fear for their lives since they get water from the river in the forest and it is not safe.

“Someone will kill you while you fetching water and throw you in that forest and no one will know what happend to you. There are also snakes there. We fear for our lives every time we go to fetch water but we don’t have a choice.

“Our children get sick and we have to take them to the doctor all the time. But for us older people it has become normal because we know it is the water that we are drinking everyday that makes us sick and we have to be strong,” said other resident.

Another affected resident said what makes them more angry is that the other part of the area, which is separated by the river has running water which the municipality installed.

All residents have to do is collect water from the tap and return to their houses.

However, sometimes people from this area would also go a whole week without running water.

“If we get water we must all get it. We are all equal in this area and we all deserve the service delivery especially water.

“How can we still sharing water with cows and dogs after 25 years of democracy?” he asked.

When Echo visited the river there was a dog swimming and drinking the water.

Ward councillor Linda Madlala said he is aware of the problem and they are busy trying to work on a temporal solution for now.

He said they have been trying to get resources from the municipality that will be able to connect a tap in order to supply the area with water for now.

“With the municipality placed under administration it is very difficult to get resources from service providers.

“I have met with the plumbers and I have been to the site to check but we can not continue without resources,” he said.

Madlala slammed that the water tankers provide dirty water to the community.

He also denied that the water tanker only visits the area once a week.

“We had an agreement with community members that if the water tanker do not come after every two days they must report the matter to me.

I even appointed someone in the area to report to if they can not get hold of me.”

He said the municipality has promised that they will have a permanent solution for this problem in the next financial year.

Municipal Spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha did not respond to the questions sent to her by the time of going to print.

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