Desperation of a mother without water

2019-08-29 06:00
A Santa-Barbara resident is seen washing her child with water from a pothole in Kamesh Road after being without water for five weeks.                       Photo: leon eland

A Santa-Barbara resident is seen washing her child with water from a pothole in Kamesh Road after being without water for five weeks. Photo: leon eland

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THE photograph of a mother washing her child in a water-filled pothole in Kamesh Road, Uitenhage, symbolises the dire need of a community that has been without water for five weeks.

Leon Eland, a paramedic at the Department of Health, took the photograph.

“I was shocked when I saw the woman and her child.

“The mother explained that she has no water and therefore no choice but to use the water in the pothole to wash her child.

“These people are desperate for houses and now they are deprived of water. You can live without electricity, but you cannot live without water,” Eland said.

Jannie Lindoor who previously served as a councillor in Nelson Mandela Bay said he was very upset when he saw the photograph of the woman washing her child with water from a pothole.

“It is very disturbing to see something like this,” he said.

Lindoor, who was a councillor for 10 years said there is a leaked pipe in this area which has caused water shortage in the Santa-Barbara informal settlement.

“This lady does not have water in her area, so she used the water from the pothole,” he said.

Lindoor, who continues to play an active role in his community, said this area has been without water for five weeks and that he reported the issue to the municipality but received no feedback.

“There is no political will from the municipality to avoid these things,” he said.

Lindoor said many people must get water from their neighbouring areas but when water shortage continues for a long period of time their neighbours start worrying about their own water.

“People tell you bluntly I pay for water so I cannot give you water,” he said.

Lindoor said the Uitenhage area has old infrastructure that needs to be replaced.

“There are many old asbestos pipes that have not been replaced for years.”

“Someone needs to put pressure on the Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay so that the municipality can do something about this problem,” he said.

Eland said many ward councillors pass this area every day in order to get to town but they are not doing anything about the situation.

He further said the councillor for this specific ward does not live in the area, so he is not able to see what situation the residents of this area are faced with.

Ward 48 councillor Tyrone Adams said the superintendent of water leaks in Uitenhage informed him that there was a water leak in the Santa-Barbara area but that it was fixed last week.

He also said he does not know how long the leaked pipe was broken but that it did not take five weeks to repair.

“There was only one house without water for two weeks and the leaked pipe was fixed by the municipality,” Adams said.

Questions sent to metro spokesperson Mthu-banzi Mniki were unanswered at the time of going to print.


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