The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has delivered another 141 water tanks across Gauteng, as well as increased the number of water tanks in Tshwane to 466.
The number of water tanks distributed in the cities of Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni, as well as the Sedibeng and West Rand district municipalities, now stands at 1 926.
“The water tanks will assist communities in water-stressed and densely populated informal settlements to wash their hands to ward off the Covid-19 virus,” the DWS said in a statement.
“A failure to provide water to needy communities will put them at the brink of a crisis of contracting the deadly virus and it is therefore important for them to access water to be able to wash their hands regularly,” explained DWS Gauteng head Sibusiso Mthembu.
He said the department is, in particular, aiming to protect the health of communities that are susceptible to the virus because it is most likely to spread in crowded environments.
However, more work is still needed to curb the spread of the virus as it is accelerating fast and is becoming more difficult to slow down, with dense environments identified as the feeding ground of the virus.
“There is still a long way to go to deal with the virus. So, the delivery of water to communities remains our absolute priority. The fact that Gauteng is no longer the hardest-hit province should not lull us into believing that we are out of the woods. In fact, we still face some very difficult days ahead and thus we must double our efforts,” said Mthembu.
The distribution of water in the City of Tshwane is flagged as important as the area continues to experience water shortages and water quality challenges.
“The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic comes as the City of Tshwane is facing extensive water pollution challenges,” he explained, noting that Hammanskraal, in the north of the city, is one of the areas struggling with water quality as a result of water treatment works not operating optimally.
Meanwhile, the DWS in the Eastern Cape continues to deliver water tanks in the province, with a total of 4 775 water tanks delivered to various communities, of which 3 074 have been installed.
The department, which is monitoring the installation of the water tanks closely, will work closely with all the municipalities to ensure that the delivered water tanks are installed as a matter of urgency so that water-stressed areas can be supplied with much needed water.