Committee to tackle water crisis

2018-02-27 06:00

No one in our community is to be left without water, if Devil’s Peak and Vredehoek residents have their way.

Under the Devil’s Peak Vredehoek Neighbourhood Watch (DPV Watch), residents are rallying to form a water committee, which will look to prepare for Day Zero – the day there is no longer water in the taps.

DPV Watch’s Nicola Jowell says: “We all believe that Day Zero can be avoided and that is the primary aim and focus in our community. But we need to plan for all eventualities. Our community is made up of a very diverse demographic and we are aware that there may be people who may be in real difficulty if we have to queue and carry water. “Our primary objective is to make sure that no member of our community is left without water and that we pool together to recognise who needs help and provide that to them. With Day Zero shifting to July the chances of it happening this winter are growing smaller and smaller. However, the possibility is not over and unless we receive well above-average rainfall this winter there is a chance that Day Zero may happen during summer next year. We will be ready with our plan in place.”

The establishment of the water committee is steaming ahead, Jowell says.

“We have had a community meeting in which we asked for volunteers to come forward. A committee has been established and has already started to put plans into place. We will be doing a flyer drop across the area to advise that it has been established and how to get involved or register that you need assistance,” she says.

A project co-ordinator has been appointed and water co-ordinators have been assigned to each of the neighbourhood watch’s seven zones.

“We are also then calling for street representatives to be in place on each street in the area. We already have a number of volunteers who will be doing this but have a few streets that still need to be covered.”

The committee will ensure each and every household in the area is engaged with, Jowell explains. “The street representatives are vitally important in this, as many will already be aware of people on their road who may need assistance. Our primary goal is to create a database of people who may be elderly, injured, convalescing, disabled or who are not able to collect or carry water. At the same time as creating this database we will be calling for volunteers to come forward who can assist with water collection or transport for these residents in need. The aim will be to partner one resident in need with two or three volunteer residents. It’s important that the responsibility is shared by a few people and not just one person.”

While the focus of the committee is water security, they will also look at community building and promoting the idea of “pulling together in a time of great need”.

“The initial panic buying and long queues at spring points have led to a number of reports of aggression and intimidation. There is an opportunity for us to make this into another one of those wonderful Cape Town stories where people work together, look after one another, create bonds and pull through this with a collective spirit,” Jowell says.

V Contact DPVwatch on contact@dpvwatch.co.za or 021 461 2937 (between 09:00 and 15:00).

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