The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and service delivery partner Amatola Water have distributed 5 694 water tanks and 171 water trucks to service communities around the Eastern Cape as part of government’s drought and Covid-19 intervention.
DWS spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said while the department was dealing with the drought, the Eastern Cape was also hard hit by the pandemic, requiring further efforts to ensure that every household had access to water to intensify good health and hygiene practices.
As part of increasing drought intervention in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, government would procure water trucks and tanks in the area at a cost to government of R6-million, Ratau said.
A further 756 water tanks were also delivered and installed in priority schools around the province. Meanwhile, 274 boreholes have been drilled to augment water supply in the province.
“Rand Water advised that a total of 100 5 000-litre tanks and 20 water trucks for emergency intervention be made available for two months in assistance with the current water challenges in Nelson Mandela Bay,” said Ratau.
Funding has also been established for the completion of the Nooitgedacht water scheme as the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality depends heavily on it for its supply, while permanent repairs to the Sundays River Valley Canal will be expedited to ensure its completion prior to the commissioning of the soon to be completed Nooitgedacht water scheme.
DWS will be procuring and deploying State-owned water trucks as a medium- to long-term solution and Amatola Water has already procured 20 trucks and is awaiting the delivery of 8 more at the end of September.
Ratau said illegal water connections continued to cause water losses and he urged citizens to report such acts.
“Illegal connections, water leaks, vandalism and theft of water infrastructure are the challenges contributing to the unnecessary water losses. We urge everyone to save water and report criminal acts on the toll-free number 0800 200 200 because every drop counts,” he said.