Clean water at last for Ngqeleni residents

Residents of Buntingville in Ngqeleni who complained that they were forced to drink river water infested with raw sewage from a local high school now have access to clean drinkable water.
Residents of Buntingville in Ngqeleni who complained that they were forced to drink river water infested with raw sewage from a local high school now have access to clean drinkable water.
Image: File/ Supplied

Residents of Buntingville in Ngqeleni, who complained that they were forced to drink river water infested with raw sewage from a local high school, now have access to clean drinkable water.

The OR Tambo district municipality provided the villagers with 18 JoJo tanks on Friday.

Municipal bosses warned villagers to stop drinking the feared contaminated water from Chumngce River, saying they would take samples for testing.

Bongani Matomela, a director in the office of municipal manager Owen Hlazo, told the Dispatch that they had decided to provide water tanks and to cart clean drinkable water to the people of Buntingville.

Matomela urged people to refrain from using the contaminated water until it had been scientifically tested.

“That is why we are in discussions with the department of water and sanitation,” he said.

When it [septic tank] is full, they shut down, and that leads to the system clogging up. But a contractor is attending to that

Earlier this week, the Daily Dispatch reported Buntingville residents fell sick from drinking water drawn from the Chumngce River which runs below Ndamase Senior Secondary School.

The residents also showed a Dispatch team an overflowing sewerage station at the school which pumped raw sewage directly into the river.

When contacted on Friday, Eastern Cape provincial education authorities indicated they had already appointed a team to fix the problem at Ndamase.

Provincial education spokesperson, Malibongwe Mtima, said the problem lay with the pumps that pump raw effluent into a septic tank.

“When it [septic tank] is full, they shut down, and that leads to the system clogging up.

“But a contractor is already attending to that,” he said.

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