Tsh­wane drought day 6

New one de­liv­ered and city work­ing hard to have ba­sic re­source flow­ing again shortly

Pretoria News - - FRONT PAGE - African News Agency (ANA) BON­GANI SHILUBANE

MU­NIC­I­PAL staff are work­ing fran­ti­cally to re­pair the burst pipe which has left about 500 000 res­i­dents with­out wa­ter since last Thurs­day night. It is es­ti­mated that the wa­ter sup­ply should be re­stored by Fri­day.

WHILE about 500 000 peo­ple af­fected by the wa­ter short­age in and around the heart of the city carry buck­ets back and forth from their homes, a new pipe has ar­rived at the site.

Coun­cil­lor Shaun Wilkin­son said the new pipe sec­tion which was worked on off-site on Mon­day had fi­nally been de­liv­ered – and the good news was that they had all the nec­es­sary man­power to push the in­stal­la­tion.

“We are now in a care­ful process of fit­ting, turn­ing, ad­just­ing, test­ing and tight­en­ing the pipe. We are hop­ing and pray­ing for a suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tion to in­stall the new pipe with­out any glitches and as quickly as pos­si­ble.”

Wilkin­son said the dead­line for com­ple­tion, which was set for Fri­day, still re­mained in place and teams were work­ing hard to in­stall the pipe.

The tem­po­rary dry spell also forced Unisa to close its gates, cit­ing health and hy­giene con­cerns that could re­sult ow­ing to the lack of wa­ter on cam­pus.

Busi­nesses such as sa­lons, eater­ies and ho­tels along var­i­ous street cor­ners in Sun­ny­side and Ar­ca­dia have also had to run on a limb as their busi­nesses rely heav­ily on the use of wa­ter.

While there may be a level of frus­tra­tion and dis­com­fort as res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers ex­press dis­con­tent­ment over the short­age, Wilkin­son said he had been amazed at the level of kind­ness most res­i­dents had shown each other dur­ing the few days with­out wa­ter.

“I wit­nessed peo­ple carry wa­ter up many flights of stairs for their old neigh­bours as well… peo­ple go­ing out of their way to help those that are help­less and can­not fetch it them­selves.” Of­fi­cials, pri­vate stake­hold­ers and vol­un­teers de­cided they would take the el­derly un­der their wing; some busi­ness peo­ple set up their teams to as­sist the dis­abled and preg­nant.

“There (are) all these sto­ries and tes­ti­monies of hu­man dig­nity and peo­ple look­ing past them­selves.”

Wilkin­son said there had been a few in­ci­dents as a re­sult of frus­tra­tion by dis­heart­ened res­i­dents.

“De­spite those few chal­lenges, the level of ubuntu dis­played and the Batho Pele prin­ci­ple that res­i­dents showed in the past few days has blown me away.”

Wilkin­son said the dead­line of com­ple­tion in in­stalling, test­ing and open­ing the pipe for use was still pro­jected for Fri­day, but of­fi­cial state­ments would be sent to keep res­i­dents abreast of the sit­u­a­tion.

He urged res­i­dents not to in­ter­fere with the trucks, tam­per with fire hy­drants, at­tack truck driv­ers or take their keys as there had been a few in­ci­dents since the short­age be­gun on Thurs­day as res­i­dents’ pa­tience ran out.

Wilkin­son said that un­for­tu­nately they could not put a truck out­side every flat and on every cor­ner so res­i­dents should make sure they filled up enough to sus­tain them­selves.

He re­it­er­ated his mes­sage to res­i­dents to have a spirit of ubuntu dur­ing the wa­ter short­age pe­riod to aid el­derly res­i­dents and preg­nant women re­sid­ing in flats in af­fected ar­eas or old-age homes who are too frail to go to col­lect the wa­ter them­selves.

Some cen­tres in the af­fected ar­eas in­clude Kro­nen­dal, Res­i­den­tia and Sonnheim, who have a num­ber of el­derly res­i­dents in their care.

BOJE VAL

CHIL­DREN were among the thou­sands of peo­ple fetch­ing wa­ter from mu­nic­i­pal trucks and tankers in Sun­ny­side and other ar­eas within the CBD that have been hit by a wa­ter cri­sis since Thurs­day night. |

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