'We have been rationing water for almost a year': Makana crisis undented by recent rains

17 February 2021 - 10:19 By Loyiso Dyongman
Recent heavy rains have made little difference to Makana municipality’s water crisis. Stock photo.
Recent heavy rains have made little difference to Makana municipality’s water crisis. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Riccardo Lennart Niels Mayer

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

Four dams in the Eastern Cape municipality are at 5% of their capacity, DispatchLIVE reports.

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%. Howison's Poort 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.
Carolynn Clark, ward councillor

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 was still not working, Clark said,  “because of poor project management decisions and a lack of proper planning".

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."

DispatchLIVE


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