Assessment made on progress of Moutse Drought Relief Interventions

MOUTSE – Following Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu’s visit in Moutse during February this year to address water challenges there, Deputy Minister, David Mahlobo on Monday, 13 April 2020 stopped over at Philadelphia Hospital in Dennilton to assess progress on the implementation of Moutse Drought Relief Intervention programme.

Minister Sisulu announced during her visit to the Moutse in February that R143 million had been allocated to Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM) to ensure immediate provision of water and sanitation services in the area.

Pleased with Drought Interventions in SDM and appealing for hastened progress, Deputy Minister Mahlobo held a meeting with Philadelphia Hospital management and later engaged with Moutse Drought Relief Steering Committee.

Sputnik Ratau, Director Media Liaison, said as a result of the area’s drought interventions, Philadelphia Hospital was currently supplied by two boreholes with a combined yield of 370 000 litres per day against the current demand of 100 000 litres.

An agreement was reached during the meeting that Dennilton Plot Owners would allow authorities to use boreholes located in their plots to immediately supply Philadelphia Hospital with water.

Water shortages beset the hospital allegedly due to drought that negatively affected Mkhombo Dam levels, from where the facility gets water. The drought equally affected Moutse, which was declared a disaster area.

SDM said it continued to supply the hospital with water tankers. However, the supply was not enough to service both the hospital and communities of Moutse.

According to SDM two boreholes were drilled inside the hospital premises to mitigate the problem but they still do not yield adequate water supply.

“The district municipality then initiated talks with Dennilton Plot Owners on Monday and it was agreed that the municipality and Lepelle Northern Water will immediately equip the remaining one of the two boreholes and provide the hospital with adequate water,” said SDM.

Deputy Minister Mahlobo said the hospital must be able to manage its water supply and that there must be sufficient storage. Mahlobo said that would help the hospital to have adequate water even if there was technical challenge with pumping.

The deputy minister applauded the work that had been thus far and implored all stakeholders in the area to work together to ensure the area did not find itself struggling with water as compared previously.

Mahlobo said news was that the hospital had a surplus of 270 000 litres per day and there was a suggestion for the surplus to assist neighbouring households in need of water.

Mahlobo added the other option was for the water tankers, offering immediate relief, to fill up from the surplus and deliver to water storage tanks rather than filling up in the neighbouring Groblersdal Town.

Ratau said in the roll out of water tanks and tankers availed by Minister Sisulu in March this year, Moutse community received 31 water tanks out of the 102 delivered to SDM to date.

“Stands for the water storage tanks are being built in various villages and the deputy minister has urged the municipality to hasten the water supply process as the need for water has increased tremendously, said Ratau.

Deputy Minister Mahlobo reaffirmed government’s commitment in ensuring that all communities have access to clean water and dignified sanitation services in line with the country’s National Development Plan.

SDM Executive Mayor, Stanley Ramaila, lauded Dennilton Plot Owners for putting communities’ needs first.

Ramaila said the plot owners had demonstrated they were true ambassadors of Thuma Mina call made by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Thapelo Motseo

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