Water shortage in Kariega has become extremely serious after a pipe burst

Residents roam streets looking for water trucks. Municipality says there has been a major burst on the Summit-Chelsea pipeline.

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People are pushing trolleys with buckets around KwaNobuhle, Kariega to try and find sources of water. Photos: Thamsanqa Mbovane

KwaNobuhle township has had acute water shortages for the past week.

Thousands of residents in wards 42 to 47 have been roaming streets looking for water trucks day in and day out, while the situation deteriorates.

Public schools, township salons, thousands of households, funeral parlours and churches have been severely affected.

On Friday morning, residents were still carrying empty buckets looking for trucks in different areas. Some were searching in nearby bushes for water leaks.

Resident Bulelwa Williams from Area 10 in ward 45 in Gunguluza said: “I had six 20 litres of buckets in my yard filled with water.” She said she gave one of these buckets to her neighbour. “I assumed that water would be back but we are now seven days without water.”

“I don’t even have water to drink. All four buckets are now empty,” she said.

She said the only place she has been drawing water from is at KwaNobuhle depot, a municipal property that never ran out of water. She takes two of her buckets and hires a vehicle to take her to and from the depot daily. She spends R30 each time. People flock to this depot, she says.

Her children have not been able to go to school because of the shortage.

Blade Vandala from ward 44 also fetches water from the municipal depot. He says people go there by car, donkey, trolley or foot.

Ward 44 Councillor Luzuko Ndamse said that only part of his ward is affected. “We have been depending on trucks to provide water to use for cooking, bathing and drinking. This is a major concern but trucks are doing their best to defuse tension,” he said.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality spokesperson Mamela Ndamase said that KwaNobuhle has been affected by a “major burst” on the Summit-Chelsea pipeline. She said repairs should be completed on Friday. “We have water trucks and Jojo tanks as an emergency supply. We apologise for the inconvenience caused,” she said.

According to a 1 November municipal notice, areas experiencing low water pressure include Parsons Vlei (Morning Side) and Hunters Retreat (Rowallan Park), while the areas experiencing “water disruption” include KwaNobuhle Areas (1, 5, 8, 10, and 11 Phase 2 and 1st Avenue), Joe Modise Peace, Jolobe Area 2 and Area 9 Gunguluza.

Municipal workers fix broken infrastructure along the Summit-Chelsea pipeline that supplies Kariega. Photo supplied by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality

TOPICS:  Nelson Mandela Bay water Crisis Water

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