Water still a pipe dream for many Eastern Cape residents

SABC News Water Shortage R - Water still a pipe dream for many Eastern Cape residents

As COVID-19 infections surge in the Eastern Cape, basic services such as water are still a pipe dream for many residents.

Five district municipalities and two metros in the province have been declared virus hot spots by the President.

The Amathole District Municipality, which has six local municipalities, has been battling with drought since 2015.

A recent labour strike has worsened matters, with vandalism causing damage of over R5 million to its ailing infrastructure.

To date the province has recorded a total of 7 474 deaths with 5 749 active cases.

Water plays a key role in the prevention of COVID-19. But taps for the residents of the Golf Course in Alice have been dry for over six months.

They are now heavily reliant on rain and water tankers.

Eastern Cape hospitals inundated with COVID-19 admissions:

Residents say they’re at risk of contracting the coronavirus.

“Because we don’t have water it puts us at risk because it affects our health by affecting our health it causes cholera through to the cholera, it affects us because we are recycle the little water that we have. When you want to use the toilet I have to go to the fuel station in town. Some people don’t even have cars, if you have 20 litres of water you have to keep it for three days.”

Amathole District Municipality spokesperson, Nonceba Madikizela-Vuso, says they want a long-term solution for the matter.

”To ensure that we not only look at short term interventions in terms of water supply such as the trucking of water because we know that is not sustainable and our roads are bad and our trucks get damaged every now and again thus making us not deliver water as often as we can.”

Teams testing for COCID-19 are also on the ground in hotspot areas such as the Amathole District.

Testing and tracing leader Dr Nozipho Jaxa says: “Since the declaration of hotspots areas we have strengthened our testing to those areas, we have the mobile trucks that we are using we are an antigen test which gives you the results within thirty or forty minutes.”

The Eastern Cape government has vowed to continue prioritising and improving the health sector in its fight against the spread of coronavirus.


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