Water woes in Joburg also affecting hospitals

Parts of Joburg remain dry as Joburg Water continues to experience challenges.
Parts of Joburg remain dry as Joburg Water continues to experience challenges.
Image: File

The water woes in Johannesburg continued on Sunday as Joburg Water said it was having trouble ensuring taps don’t run dry.

In a tweet issued on Sunday morning, the water supplier said: “There is power failure affecting Crosby. We are unable to pump water from Hursthill at the moment. There are still roaming water tankers assigned as we are busy trying to resolve the matter.”

The water crisis in parts of the city has been going on for several days now with hospitals such as Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital being affected.

A News24 article quoted a patient at Helen Joseph hospital who said after last being given 500ml of water days ago, he had to resort to buying water from a retail outlet on line and have it delivered to his bedside.

The Gauteng health department on Sunday told TimesLIVE it was aware of the situation but stressed the matter was not entirely in its control.

Department spokesperson Kwara Kekana said Joburg Water should be contacted for comment as the problem was on their side.

Kekana, however, said they were concerned about the situation.

“The biggest challenge is the constant supply of water from Joburg Water. To ensure continuous supply of water, Joburg Water must make sure that there are water tanks 24 hours to make sure that there are no interruptions. The hospital water supply systems are in place and intact and all we need is a constant supply of water from the water tanks from Joburg water. Without a 24-hour supply of water, interruptions will continue,” she said.

Patients requiring dialysis were affected.

“The biggest concern that the department has is the interruption in the provision of clinical services. Shortage of water affects a number of departments such as the renal unit and also it makes the normal running of the hospital difficult with patients and staff being affected the most,” she said.

 “The time spent on dialysis is [to] three hours instead of four. This change is done within the prescripts of clinical care. When the tankers from Joburg Water come to the hospital, the area that is prioritised is the renal unit. Once the tank is full, it has capacity to run for 24 hours and provide the full three hours of treatment for all scheduled patients,” said Kekana.

In the meantime, she said, they had procured drinking water for patients and staff.

“There is a water point in the hospital that is supplied by a different pipe to the main source and staff assist us with getting water from those ports for patients to wash, for cleaning the wards and the toilets,” Kekana said.

She said the hospital, however, had sufficient linen and this department was not affected by the water shortages.

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