Durban households still without water as reservoir levels remain critically low

Residents of Ntuzuma welcomed the arrival of a municipal water truck on Sunday after more than a week without water

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Families in Ntuzuma collected water from the municipal truck on Sunday. They say it was the first time in more than a week that the City of eThekwini trucked in water. Photo: Nokulunga Majola

Water levels at reservoirs in Durban remain critically low, and many households in Ntuzuma and surrounding areas have been without running water for weeks.

Residents of Ntuzuma H welcomed the arrival of a municipal water truck on Sunday. They say it was the first time in days that the City of eThekwini had trucked in water.

On Monday, eThekwini Municipality said that reservoirs in Ntuzuma were still filling up following shutdown for maintenance of one of the main electricity transformers at the Ntuzuma Substation. The shutdown affected the pumps at the reservoirs, and water levels dropped.

“Currently, reservoir water levels are low and are being monitored,” said municipal spokesplerson Gugu Sisilana on Monday. She said she could not say when water would be restored.

Phumelele Nala of Ntuzuma C said she battled to take care of her one-year-old baby without water. “My baby needs to bath at least twice a day, change clothes sometimes four times a day because he likes to play and gets dirty,” said Nala. She said for the past few days, she has had to carry her baby on her back to collect water from neighbouring areas like KwaMashu.

Many residents complained that they were not properly informed of water outages. Another resident of Ntuzuma C, Thembelihle Dlamini, said his family of six were struggling to cope without water.

“The children have to go to school and we have to wash and cook. My husband doesn’t have a car, so we have to pay people R10 a container for water, is that fair?” she asked.

Last week Sisilana told GroundUp that “once power is restored, pumping to various reservoirs in Ntuzuma will resume because water pumping is dependent on the electricity supply”.

She said that water tankers had been dispatched to affected communities.

TOPICS:  Water

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