WATCH | Stories don’t match on BCM villagers’ dry taps

Archie Mpendu stands in front of a tap in Nxarhuni village that has been dry for several months.
WATER CRISIS: Archie Mpendu stands in front of a tap in Nxarhuni village that has been dry for several months.
Image: BHONGO JACOB

Residents of a Buffalo City Metro village say they have been without water for three months, which was when their communal taps dried up.

Nxarhuni villagers said because of the water problem, they have had to limit themselves to consuming one glass a day – as opposed to the recommended two litres.

While communal taps dried up in March in Gwiqi locality, the greater Nxarhuni village has been experiencing water problems for two years.

Villagers confirmed that BCM had been carting water to the village, but they complained of favouritism as not everyone received the precious resource.

However, BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya denied that the villagers had been without water since March.

“There is water at Gwiqi village. It is not true that there has been no water since March,” he said.

“There was a burst pipe last week, which had been fixed and they were assisted with tankers during that time.

“On our records we do not have that complaint [that there has not been water since March] and all villages have water.

“We assist with water tankers when there is no water in the village.

“Nxaruni villages are supplied from Nahoon Dam and the dam level is 82% full.”

But resident Michael Jawuka, 68, said their water supply has been inconsistent for the past two years.

Residents of a Buffalo City Metro village say they have been without water for three months.

“We get water on certain days [from the taps]. We go for up to weeks without water. We are lucky when we get to have one bucket a week. We are struggling. It has been like this for almost two years.”

He said his grandchildren, aged three, 10, 12, have been hit the most. “We have to go to other villages with wheelbarrows to get water. When there is water in one village, there will be none in another. We reported this to the councillor and he told us that there was a problem with the water pipes and promised it will be fixed.”

Archie Mpendu has been collecting water for residents in neighbouring communities with his bakkie free of charge. “This is a crisis. It has been a few months living like this.

“Some of us have to go and get water in Mdantsane.”

However, ward councillor Ntukulana Ncotela dismissed allegations of water only being carted to certain families, saying when there are funerals or traditional ceremonies, more water is supplied for the occasion.

On why the area has been experiencing water problems, he said the water reservoirs were not full.

“We have that challenge in the whole area and not just one village. We also had a problem with the water pipes, and the population in the area has increased. The water trucks go to all the villages and we have bought water tanks to assist as well.

“We go to certain households when there is bereavement or a traditional event and when a family is in need of lots of water, people come to the office to ask for water and we sent a truck to that particular house.”

bhongoj@tisoblackstar.co.za

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