Almost 1 500 water tanks delivered in Gauteng to avert spread of coronavirus

2020-04-06 09:20

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2020-04-02 14:11

A homeless community living in tents on the side of the road in Observatory is struggling to survive during the 21-day lockdown in the country.WATCH

A total of 1 482 water tanks have been delivered in various parts of Gauteng to ameliorate protracted water shortages in water-deprived communities and avert their susceptibility to the deadly novel coronavirus.

The Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation (DWS) activated its intervention measures following a call by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to make water accessible to communities who continue to face water shortages, said department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau.

Sisulu's call was in line with measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa aimed at ensuring that poor communities were not severely impacted by the virus.

READ | Coronavirus: Switch on disconnected water immediately, urges Sisulu

"In cushioning the vulnerable communities, the department has to date deployed water tanks to some of the densely populated areas in the different municipalities across the province," said Ratau.

"So far, the department has made 410 water tanks available to the City of Joburg, 190 to the City of Tshwane and 166 to the City of Ekurhuleni. The Sedibeng District and West Rand District Municipalities have received 254 and 462 respectively."

Sibusiso Mthembu, Gauteng head of the DWS, said the department was making significant strides to ensure that the vulnerable were not disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

'Use water sparingly'

Mthembu said communities who lacked access to water were particularly at risk during this time. He added that the intervention of the department would go a long way to ensure that the guidelines of public health received resonance in needy communities.

He said the department was also partnering with other stakeholders to provide not only water, but soap and sanitisers to communities to enable them to practise proper hygiene.

READ | Lockdown: Water to be provided to drought-stricken areas, says Sisulu

Mthembu added that it was important that government and all stakeholders did not let their guard down but continued to heighten the message of washing hands regularly while ensuring that water wastage was avoided at all costs.

He called on water users in the province to report burst pipes and leaks as these were contributing negatively to water availability.

"While we appeal to communities to wash their hands regularly, we also want to urge them to use water sparingly. Water is one of the utmost important resources, that we must use with care," said Mthembu.

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Read more on:    pretoria  |  johannesburg  |  service delivery  |  coronavirus  |  water  |  health

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