Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Qwaqwa: The Sedibeng Water, in conjunction with Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality, are working around the clock to ensure that both short and medium-term solutions to address water challenges in QwaQwa, are implemented.

This follows a directive by Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to Sedibeng Water to immediately address water supply challenges in QwaQwa, and ensure that the desired end result is water availability and water through the taps in the long run.

The planned short-term intervention includes the delivery of water to communities through water tankers, the placement of plastic tanks, commonly referred to as JoJo tanks, as well as rationing of water.

The medium-term measures include construction of a 4km pipeline from Comet Village to Ha-Rankopane Reservoir traversing wards 23 and 31.

As per directive, the Department of Water and Sanitation reported on Tuesday that 2 000 more water tanks (JoJos) have been procured, with an intention to meet Sisulu’s target of 5 000 tanks in the long run.

“Of the 2 000 tanks procured, 1 000 of them have a 5 000 litre capacity, while the other 1 000 is of 10 000 litres capacity. Thus far, 132 water tanks have also been delivered to QwaQwa residents.

“It is anticipated that local service providers will be employed to build tank stands to assist with employment opportunities and poverty alleviation in the area,” the department said.

In addition to this, the recruitment process of 18 workers has been concluded, and this includes the placement of two community liaison officers.

Occupational medical assessments and the issuing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have also been completed.

Medium-term implementation

As part of the medium-term implementation, the department said the clearing and digging of the pipe route from Comet to Ha-Rankopane has also commenced.

Sisulu has this week reiterated the need for Sedibeng Water to speedily implement solutions to address water challenges in QwaQwa.

“When I was in QwaQwa in January, I directed Sedibeng Water to look for residents who have the necessary skills to come forward as part of the interventions addressing water scarcity issues. I am pleased to learn that this is being implemented and that locals are afforded the necessary opportunity to participate in implementing solutions,” Sisulu said.

Sisulu has also urged members of the community in QwaQwa and surrounds to use water available to them sparingly and also called for regular hand washing with soap to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

As the President has directed, all of government, the Department of Water and Sanitation included, has a responsibility to ensure there is an adequate response to COVID-19, therefore, the continued efforts of Sedibeng Water to bring Minister’s directive to fruition is paramount, so as to reduce the possibility of further spreading COVID-19, the department said.

“The pandemic poses a serious threat to people in disadvantaged communities. Given this, I have committed my departments to respond to the urgent needs of people through the provision of water and sanitation as we are confronted with a possible spread.” Sisulu said.