JOHANNESBURG – Residents of Diepsloot north of Johannesburg are being encouraged to save water.
Even though many parts of the area don’t have basic infrastructure, the Water Research Commission says it’s a crucial message.
But, while residents are open to the idea of saving water, ageing infrastructure and maintenance issues remain a major problem.
The Water Research Commission backed up its outreach campaign with a guide on how to save water.
Dr. Nonhlanhla Kalebaila of the Water Research Commission said, “We are actually here to take them step-by-step through the book and go into the homes and show them what we need to talk about in the book.”
Although it’s currently available only in English, volunteers from the communities are acting as intermediaries.
“We give them information on how to report the leakages and do the follow ups. We also do follow-ups to make sure that Joburg water comes and fixes the leaking pipes. And, we are also informing them in terms of the importance of keeping water.” Loniah Mkhwanazi a community worker said.
Despite the challenges, residents are willing to play their part.
A Diepsloot resident, Lynette Makgolokwe said, “We should put water in containers for our daily use. Compare that to the water wasted because of leaking taps. Water is becoming scarce and we need to save it.”
The booklet – which details how to fix leaking taps and toilets – may seem like a bit of a pipe dream in Diepsloot. Many homes here don’t have flushing toilets or proper plumbing. However community workers say the message needs to reach everyone for behaviour to change. Whether that’s taking a shorter shower, or reporting water leaks like this one to authorities.