Villagers continue to share water with animals despite Minister Sisulu’s recent intervention

MATLALA LEHWELERE – The villagers in the Moutse area outside Groblersdal, Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality’s Ward 14 say they are subjected to drinking water with animals as a result of a serious water supply crisis.

Over 1500 households in the village fetch drinking water from the nearest dam and a well they had dug. The villagers blame Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM) for failing to provide portable water in the drought stricken area.

In February this year, the Minister of Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu injected R143 Million towards draught relief projects in Moutse.

 The funds, administered by Lepelle Northern Water, were meant to address long standing water challenges and the drilling and refurbishment of boreholes among other interventions.

 However, many villages in the area are still complaining about shortages of water whereas additional five water trucks and 20 water tanks were donated by the minister during her visit to the area in February.

Kagiso Mogajana, a community leader, told the paper that they had lodged complaints with Ward Councillor, Botha Bogopa, who promised that the water problem would be fixed but nothing happened.

“We have also sent our delegation to the district municipality to seek answers about the situation and were told to wait for the new financial year, which started in July, but still nothing is happening. They ignore our grievances, we can’t live like this,” said Mogajana.

Mogajana said the water infrastructure in the village, which includes bulk water pipes and boreholes, was old and never maintained.

“The running water pipe system is very old and unable to provide the village with water. We have five malfunctioning boreholes because they were not equipped with electrical water pumping machines. Earlier this year, Sekhukhune District Municipality provided water trucks that came only twice in one month and never returned. This shows how little they care about us,” he said.

The community leader indicated that some community members, mainly the elderly and people living with disabilities are urged to spend R250 to buy 2500 Litres of water, as they couldn’t travel for about 1 km to fetch drinking water from the two sources in the area.

“They are suffering because they have to spend their last money to buy water instead of buying food and other essentials for their families. We want Sekhukhune District Municipality to immediately intervene in the matter,” he said.

Willy Mosoma, SDM Mayoral Spokesperson, said residents of Matlala Lehwelere ought to acknowledge that the district municipality had reported about the drought situation in the district.

“In Moutse particularly, we indicated that we are no longer getting supply from Dr JS Moroka Local Municipality because Mkhombo Dam is dry. We furthermore, communicated about the Moutse intervention water project which is currently being implemented,” he said. Mosoma added that 15 water trucks are currently servicing the Moutse area alone.

“We also continue with refurbishment of the existing boreholes in the area. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the delays experienced in the process of unlocking all the existing water challenges,” he said.

Thapelo Motseo

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