NATIONAL NEWS - Angry residents of Elias Motsoaledi and Ephraim Mohale local municipalities in Limpopo claimed they could not spot differences between them and wild animals as they continued to compete for dirty water with dogs, donkeys and cattle in rivers and fountains during the Covid-19 lockdown.
They have written to Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, asking for urgent intervention for the shortage of water, which could lead to only one thing – more people being infected by the deadly coronavirus, because they had no water to wash hands.
This, they say, happened in spite the fact that in March, the minister provided 4,000 new water tankers for drought relief, followed by another 80 a month later, delivered by Deputy Minister David Mahlobo.
A Moteti Liberty Village, Elias Motsoaledi resident Agnes Makola said yesterday: “I may be a better God’s creature because I wear clothes, but I cannot spot the difference between me and a donkey, a monkey or a dog because in my village, wild animals and human beings are still drinking from the same source.
“The foods we eat are cooked by the water we fetch from the river or fountain and the water we drink also comes from the same source. I therefore do not see the difference between me and a dog.”
Thabo Mogale of Matlala Ramoshebo Village, Moutse, accused Sisulu’s department, Lepelle Northern Water and the Sekhukhune district municipality of neglecting them in favour of urban and township people.
“It is like they don’t care about us. We all plunged into deep jubilation when Minister Sisulu brought 4,000 water tanks in our area. We further swam in a pool of elation when her deputy minister provided us with additional 80 water tanks.
“At that time, we hoped things would turn to the better because we knew coronavirus was not a joke.
“But little did we know that these jokes were putting wool over our faces because weeks after the announcement of lockdown, throngs of people are still without a single drop of water to wash hands.
“Those with money are better because they buy water from the well-off who have boreholes in their yards, while the poorest of the poor, such as me, are forced to go to the stream, river or fountain,” said Mogale.
Contacted for comment, the Sekhukhune municipality, which is a water authority for the region, claimed it was still awaiting delivery of trucks from Lepelle Northern Water, an implementing agent of the Moutse Drought Relief project on behalf of the national department of water and sanitation, which would be used to replenish the tanks.
“In the meantime, six of our own trucks as the district municipality [have been sent] to service the area. However, we admit it is not enough as we need a total of 20 trucks to service the Moutse area alone,” said municipal spokesman Moloko Moloto yesterday.