Shaken not stirred, salty, but with flavour

2015-11-11 06:00

THE first time I noticed something was amiss with the water was around midday on Sunday. I had poured my favourite drink of Scottish firewater and after adding a couple of ice cubes that I had made earlier that morning, I noticed that it tasted very strange.

Those ice cubes were pure salt. I’m not one to let a fine drink go to waste, so I downed it in one swig, leaving my face contorted for about 30 seconds or so.

That is just one story out of tens of thousands of how we first discovered that the water was salty and undrinkable. Some are funny and some are serious. The truth is we are stuck in this situation and indications are that it will only go away if very heavy rains fall inland or if engineers come up with a plan to stop sea water from flowing up the Umzimkhulu River, contaminating our drinking water.

This unfortunate dilemma requires everyone to work together to make sure that those who are in a worse situation than us are taken care of. I’m talking about the elderly who live by themselves and have neither means nor transport to drive around chasing the Ugu water tanker.

Looking for someone to blame in a time like this is natural, but I am 100% certain that complaining won’t solve anything.

As mentioned by T.L.H from Port Shepstone this week in the letters section, the real heroes in this time of need have been the good Samaritans who are going around supplying free water to people. These people, instead of looking for someone to point a finger at and blame, spend not only their time helping others, but also their money and fuel.

There are unfortunately, those who have taken advantage of other people’s desperation for clean water and who are selling water at exorbitant prices.

Most of this water comes from untested sources and to sell it to the public at those prices is shameful. A gentleman near my workplace was selling five litres of water for R35 and 25 litres for R150.

I’m not at all implying that Ugu is innocent in all of this. I’m sure there are many things they could have done differently to make sure contingency plans are in place in the event of a water shortage. After all, Cogta last year announced that Ugu will be getting R35 million, which was supposed to go towards projects that would have ensured we are not caught napping in the time of drought.

My only hope is that the desire to help others continues to come first before financial and political gain.

What we need to do now is stand together and help one another.

The best thing about all of this is that as salty as we all are, at least now we have some flavour.

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