As KwaZulu-Natal is battling the spread of the coronavirus, the emphasis is on people washing their hands with water and soap. Some communities are still without running water. Now the government is trying to ensure communities have access to water.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC – Sipho Hlomuka says they have started distributing water tanks to various communities battling with water shortages
“We have procured about 3000 Jojo tankers that will be distributed to all municipalities faced with water shortages. We urged the municipalities to ensure they fill the tankers with water so communities are able to regularly wash hands with soap to curb the spread of the coronavirus.”
We wish to send a clear message that we are not seized with mass evictions. What we are seized with is saving the nation. The threat and risk of Coronavirus in our informal settlements is real, and again we have to make haste, so that we don’t find ourselves overwhelmed. pic.twitter.com/iYpWu1ukEk
— Lindiwe Sisulu (@LindiweSisuluSA) March 28, 2020
Harry Gwala District mayor Zamo Nxumalo says a large portion of their area is without running water. Nxumalo also says some communities are not adhering to the lockdown.
“We have about 65 percent water backlog, it will take us a few years to ensure we supply water to all communities. The other challenge is some of our people are not adhering to lockdown, some are having functions, you swear they are on a holiday. We have used law enforcement to disperse a number of gatherings,” says Nxumalo.
The number of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus grows daily. The government has urged people to respect the lockdown and stay at home.
Meanwhile, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says the government has procured 41 000 water tankers to be distributed to areas with water shortages.
Sisulu says the move seeks to ensure that communities, especially those in rural areas, comply with the sanitation measures required to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Minister Sisulu has called on anyone with complaints of water shortages to call the toll free number 0800 200 200.
“To ensure water supply to all our people, we have gone ahead with procuring water tankers and we’ve procured 41 000 of them. The greatest number is the one that goes to the Eastern Cape; 2 342; 1 700 for the Free State; 12 130 for Gauteng; 4 274 for KZN (KwaZulu-Natal); 1 200 for Limpopo. We are still working on Mpumalanga to provide them with 600 and North West with 600.”