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Water crisis in Makana, Riebeek East undented by recent rains

Recent heavy rains have made little difference to Makana municipality’s water crisis.
Recent heavy rains have made little difference to Makana municipality’s water crisis.
Image: FILE

Recent heavy rains have made little difference to Makana municipality’s water crisis.

Four dams in the municipality are at 5% of their capacity.

Water and sanitation manager Gubevu Maduna said the municipality had been rationing water for the past year and would continue to do so.

“We close off water supply every day at 8pm and open it again at 5am in Makhanda.

“We supply water between 4am and 8am and 4pm and 8pm in Riebeek East."

Alicedale's supply was limited to every second day.

“That is how we have been rationing water for almost a year now,” Maduna said.

He said Settlers, New Year’s, Jameson and Milner dams were all at 5%. Howisonspoort was at 25%. The Glen Melville dam was 95% full.

The water situation in Riebeek East was dire, according to ward councillor Carolynn Clark.

She said most people in the area depended exclusively on boreholes.

At present, only one, which was solar-powered, was working.

Clark said it was without battery banks and if the weather was overcast the yield was much lower.

It is unconscionable that the community suffers with severe water throttling when a high-yield borehole was connected in 2018 at Mooimeisiesfontein in Riebeek East

Residents received water, on average, for about two hours in the morning and another two hours in the evening, depending on where they lived.

“This has been going on for approximately two years,” she said.

“It is unconscionable that the community suffers with severe water throttling when a high-yield borehole was connected in 2018 at Mooimeisiesfontein in Riebeek East.

"But it is still not connected because of poor project management decisions and a lack of proper planning in the midst of a terrible drought,” Clark said.

Riebeek East resident Siya Kilimani said: “You need to be very careful when you use water because you might run out of it at any time."


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