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The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on the Minister of Water and Sanitation to initiate an urgent response to the potentially deadly water crisis in Barkly-West.
Over the past few months, residents have increasingly expressed concern about the quality of discoloured and smelly water in their taps. One person suffering from severe diarrhea, believed to be caused by contaminated water, also died this week. According to his family, Orataleng Dirk Letwaba from Newstands, was complaining of stomach cramps on Monday and Tuesday, while continuing to drink the murky tap water. He passed away on Wednesday morning while waiting for hours for an ambulance after he became extremely weak and dehydrated from the diarrhea.
Letwaba’s death comes amidst warnings issued by Dikgatlong municipality for residents to boil water before consumption.
Laboratory test results, as requested from Frances Baard District Municipality by the DA, have meanwhile confirmed that water does not conform to safe drinking standards. Coliforms per 100 milli-liter are greater than 150, while they should be less than 10. This may indicate sewage contamination and increases the risk amongst water users of contracting a water-borne illnesses.
According to Dikgatlong municipality, the water quality problems could be the result of several breakages on the water reticulation system. They also indicated that they will flush the treatment system and increase chlorine dosage.
Given that water concerns have been coming on for the past six months, the DA does not consider Dikgatlong’s response adequate. Numerous concerns raised with the MEC of COGHSTA, Bentley Vass, have also not yielded any results.
Dikgatlong is way out of its depth and that provincial government is turning a blind eye to this water crisis.
The DA has referred the matter for the attention of Minister of Water, Senzo Mchunu. We are requesting an urgent takeover of Dikgatlong’s water management and an investigation into the underlying causes of the water contamination.
Water gives life and we cannot allow our scarce water resources to steal lives through Dikgatlong’s mismanagement of it.
Issued by Delmaine Christians, MP - Constituency Head of Diamond South