Residents near Barberton rely on water tanks

Residents of KaMadakwa Ndlovu and Emjindini Trust in Barberton, Mpumalanga, go for weeks without water.

water tanks mpumalanga

Residents say water tanks provided by the municipality are often empty.

For years residents in these areas have had to draw water from water tanks provided by the Umjindi municipality.  Residents said the municipality only filled the water tanks once every two weeks.

“Sometimes we don’t have water for three to four weeks,” said Priscillah Nkosi, 30, of Ka-Madakwa Ndlovu.

There is a water tank outside her home, but there was no queue, which shows it is empty.

“I make sure that there is a bucket of water for when I have to prepare food for my six-month-old daughter Buhle.

“I do not think the water in the tank is 100% safe to drink because the tanks are not cleaned. The delivery truck just fills the tank, then leaves,” Nkosi said.

Residents said the water in the tanks became finished within a short time.

Thoko Methula, 42, said: “We are struggling. Imagine not having water for weeks?

“One has to have many buckets and make sure there is always some water in the house,” Methula said.

She said some people had installed pipes to draw water from a dam.

“When the water tanks are empty, we use the water from the dam, but it is not purified. Sometimes the dam also runs dry,” Methula said.

Dumisani Vilakazi, 15, spent Sunday afternoon trying to find a water tank. After filling three bottles, the water in the water tank was finished and he had to find another water tank.

About 15km from KaMadakwa Ndlovu is Emjindini Trust township. Residents here have the same problems.

Siyabonga Mandlazi, 12, is sitting on a concrete slab. He winds the tiny silver handle which pumps water from a borehole. Behind him there are people waiting to fill their buckets.

“We have to wait in long queues to get water. Sometimes I return home with no water,” said a resident who would not give her name.

Umjindi municipal spokesman Sam Jele, said: “On a daily basis we deliver water to all the affected areas.

“We are in the process of obtaining funding to fully roll out services, but in the meantime we make provision for alternative supply, in particular for Emjindini Trust and KaMadakwa.

“We supply water by means of water tanks and we are busy with the bulk water supply project, which will supply water to the residents of both these areas,” Jele added.

Source: Sowetan Live (By Sibongile Mashaba)

Water tanks in rural areas are heavily relied upon by thirsty residents, however, there is no point in providing water tanks if the tanks are not re-filled often.  The Barberton area in South Africa experiences reasonably good rainfall during the summer months; the municipality should be providing (or subsidising) rain water tanks for individual household rainwater harvesting – free water.  A 2500 litre plastic or poly water tank connected to a simple gutter from the roof could provide a substantial amount of water to the homeowner after a single rain event.  Provision  of rain water tanks would ensure that the community are not totally dependent on unreliable municipal water services.

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