Villagers fear for their health from sharing water with animals

THABAKHUBEDU – Villagers of Thabakhubedu in Moutse West expressed concerns over alleged Sekhukhune District Municipality’s failure to avail water tankers as intervention to their plight of lack of access to clean drinking water.

The villagers said they were worried that unlike other villages in the district facing the same plight, Thabakhubedu was neglected with regard to water tankers.

They claim for years since their predicament they have not seen a water tanker in the area to help them ease their access.

Moabi Phora, a resident, said the situation was worsening in that villagers were now forced to share water with animals at local wells and streams.

Phora said the wells and streams from which they are dependent for drinking water were not fenced off and that made it difficult for them to monitor the animals accessing those points.

“This is a very serious problem for us because our health remains at risk. The animals are also relieving themselves there. It is just chaos and we are worried about waterborne diseases,” said Phora.

The residents said they in the past attempted to raise the matter with the district municipality but nothing had been done.

“We have as residents met several times with representatives of the district municipality over the matter but there has been no help coming our way,” said Phora.

The villagers said if the municipality sent them water tankers in the area the problem wouldn’t be as huge as it was currently.

“If at least we had water tankers frequenting the area like other villages, this would not be as serious as now. We need water. This is having an adverse impact on all of us, especially our elderly who are forced to get water from remote wells and streams in wheelbarrows,” concluded Phora.

Willy Mosoma, Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM) spokesperson, said on Tuesday they met with national rapid response team from Department of Water Services (DWS) after meeting with Moutse community on Sunday.

Mosoma said part of the way forward was that they would be installing JOJO tanks at strategic points around Moutse wards as a short term intervention, while exploring rehabilitation of boreholes where they did not exist as a midterm intervention.

He added that a long term intervention was completion of Moutse BWs within two years and that action plan for JOJO tanks and boreholes would be shared with communities in two weeks.

Currently we have deployed two tankers for the whole of Moutse,” concluded Mosoma.

Thapelo Motseo

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