joy as emjindini gets water at last

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Residents of Emjindini Trust in Mpumalanga will no longer have to travel long distances to fetch water.

Ehlanzeni district municipality (EDM) executive mayor Constance Mkhonto today officially opened taps in their area.

For as long as they can remember, the residents of Emjindini have had to travel long distances to fetch water from rivers or buy it from neighbouring villages.

Access to clean water had always seemed like a dream for this poor community. A milestone has now been reached for the first time in the history of the village with the district munici- pality providing the basic service to 121 families.

"Water has always been scarce in the Ehlanzeni area. The link between social and economic progress and the supply of safe drinking water is clear," said Mkhonto.

"Our ability to manage our water resources in support of the much-needed social and economic development will determine whether we succeed in bringing prosperity and creating a better life for our people."

The project includes two individual water supply systems for the villages of Emjindini Trust and Rimers Creek.

Emjindini Trust Water Supply cost R5million to construct while the Rimers Creek Pipeline was completed at a cost of R3442 262.

The projects were funded through the municipal infrastructure grant (MIG).

Mkhonto was joined by Umjindini's acting executive mayor Derrick Ndlovu and hundreds of local residents.

"We can only thank the Lord and our government for bringing clean, safe drinking water to us and our children," said an overjoyed resident.

"This happened because of God's will."

Mkhonto urged residents to use water wisely and sparingly. She also urged them to pay for the service, especially if they exceeded the free monthly 6000litres provided by the government.

She said government was on track to wipe out the backlog in the infrastructure for basic water supply by next year and for sanitation by 2010.

"It also means that the risk of water-borne diseases can be eliminated because the community now has clean water for cooking, washing, drinking, as well as adequate sanitation."