Wednesday, 01 April 2020

Pretoria: In an effort to fight the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and ensure that the curve is flattened, the Department of Water and Sanitation has dispatched trucks (tankers) and tanks all over the Free State Province.

Since President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a 21-day national shutdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus, the department said it immediately started working on a plan to dispense water tanks and trucks to informal settlements and rural areas to strengthen the President’s call to the washing of hands.

According to the department, 31 water trucks have been dispersed to Vrede, Fauresburg, Harrismith, Senekal, Clocolan, Petrusteyn, Cornelia, Villiers, Kroonstad, Viljoenskroon, Welkom, Bloemfontein, Thabanchu and Sasolburg.

Six hundred and twelve water tanks have also been dispersed within the same areas.

“The department has established an operations centre where daily meetings take place with municipalities and water boards utilizing internet-based conferencing facilities. Progress reports on water services are then reported on a national platform that includes Ministers and MEC’s,” the department said.

However, the department said that even as this effort rolls out, it has sadly learned of the assault of water tank drivers in Welkom as they were dispensing water to communities.

“The department condemns these actions in the strongest sense. These are acts of criminality and are not helpful to needy communities. Prohibiting the supply of water to communities that are in desperate need of this resource constitutes a crime.” the department warned.

During this time where the country has been gripped by this terrible virus, the department implores all citizens to:

  • Constantly wash hands with soap and water.
  • Use sanitizer where water and soap are not available.
  • Avoid touching surfaces that are commonly used such as elevator buttons and hand rails.
  • Continue to use water sparingly as this is still a scarce resource.