Villages to benefit from water scheme

WASTE, NOT: The City of Joburg aims to curb water losses by improving systems PHOTO: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI
WASTE, NOT: The City of Joburg aims to curb water losses by improving systems PHOTO: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI

ABOUT 55 villages in Giyani, Limpopo, are set to benefit from a water reticulation plant meant to mitigate water shortage in the Mopani district, which recently left a hospital without water to bathe patients.

ABOUT 55 villages in Giyani, Limpopo, are set to benefit from a water reticulation plant meant to mitigate water shortage in the Mopani district, which recently left a hospital without water to bathe patients.

Lepelle Northern Water (LNW) - a bulk water supplier in the province - has committed itself to addressing water and sanitation problems that have been troubling villages in the area for some time.

Acting LNW chief executive Phineas Legodi said yesterday they have decided to confront the water and sanitation backlogs, which have left communities of Mopani vulnerable for 40 years.

"As LNW, we have managed to meet the deadline regarding acceleration of the work on Giyani water scheme," said Legodi.

He said they were worried that the situation in Giyani was a national crisis "of ugly proportions" for too long.

"We hope our quick progress in turning the situation around in the Mopani area will change the lives of people for the better," he said, adding that the villages would benefit from the R77.4-million water plant.

He said the scheme was 98% complete in both the refurbishment and extensions since September 2014.

The remaining 2% was a snag list [a comprehensive list of items a builder has not completed correctly and defective work to be repaired], he said.

"The little dilapidated infrastructure that was there was more than 30 years old. It was installed way back in 1974 when the scheme was erected and has outlived its lifespan," Legodi explained.

He said when the water was pumped from the scheme, it used to spill all over the area as a result of the dilapidated state of the infrastructure.

"Nkhensani Hospital was the most affected as patients did not have water to bathe and had to rely on their relatives to bring them water when visiting them. But now those problems are a thing of the past.

"We had to implement an emergency plan to restore water and sanitation services in Mopani and immediately begin in the Giyani municipality," he said.

He said a total of 154 boreholes with water underneath had been identified and would be refurbished.

It would require an estimated R4-billion to resolve the water challenges in terms of drawing water from both Nandoni and Nsami dams to supply to people of the province.

Legodi urged households who could afford to pay for water services in their municipalities to do so in order to afford LNW resources to tackle the challenges of water shortages.

Premier Stanley Mathabatha confirmed that LNW had been appointed as an implementing agent. "This project should also help to respond to water supply challenges the people of Giyani have experienced for some time now," said Mathabatha.

frankm@sowetan.co.za

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