Temporary fix for water crisis

JON HOUZET

NEMATO residents have water again after a shortage lasting a month in some parts of the township.

Residents reported water came out of their taps again yesterday morning, although the pressure was low. Municipal spokesman Cecil Mbolekwa said there was “a significant improvement in terms of our water levels as of yesterday (Tuesday)”.

But the municipality will continue carting in water in tankers for distribution in the township “until such time that we are satisfied with water levels”, he said.

WAITING IN LINE: Nemato resident Thembikile Zonani (second from right) fetched water at one of the municipality’s many water tanks strategically located around the township to assist residents water during the water crisis. “I am not happy about the situation,” said Zonani, “but this is all we have” Picture: ROB KNOWLES

In the long-term the municipality has sourced funds from the Department of Water Affairs and Cacadu to refurbish the water plant and replace pipes.

Ndlambe is also receiving technical assistance from Amatola Water.

Although the water shortage – caused by failing infrastructure – had been ongoing for more than a month, TotT was only alerted to the situation two weeks ago by DA councillor Terri Stander after she visited Kuyasa High School and saw the state of their toilets, which were backed up with excrement when the waterborne sewerage system stopped working.

The municipality has collected water in tankers from other parts of Port Alfred, but tapping into water mains has resulted in massive wastage.

Atherstone Road resident Jan Wesselo took photographs of a tanker which tapped into the mains in his street.

“As you can see thousands of litres of water wasted is running down the road. They have a couple of tankers running till late at night and on weekends as well,” he said.

He queried why it had taken the municipality so long to address the infrastructural problem in Nemato.

He said it was ironic that there was a water shortage but in their haste to transport water from one part of town to the other, the municipality had spilled untold thousands of litres.

WASTED: Thousands of litres of water ran down Atherstone Road while a tanker tapped into a water main to transport water to Nemato last week Picture: JAN WESSELO

TotT asked Mbolekwa about the efficiency of the system, considering the wastage that occurred each time the tanker tapped into the mains.

“Wastage of water is not acceptable at this stage. We will definitely do something about it,” Mbolekwa said.

TotT also asked him if the admission by infrastructural development director Xolani Masiza that there had been no capital upgrade to the water infrastructure, just piecemeal maintenance during his seven years working for Ndlambe, was in fact one of the municipality’s most glaring omissions now resulting in the present crisis.

Mbolekwa did not respond to this.

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