Water shortage scare rocks Mfuleni

Mfuleni residents were frantic and desperate to get water. They had to wait for long hours at different points to get water from a water tanker.

A day without water is a day too much.

And as the coronavirus continues to spread at an alarming rate, there was panic in Mfuleni when the area was without water for all of last Wednesday.

With government calling on residents to put personal hygiene at the top of their priority list and to ensure they regularly washed their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, desperate Mfuleni residents feared for their health when the taps ran dry.

Water tankers were eventually sent by the municipality and residents fought for their share after queueing for hours at the filling points.

Fearful that this could happen again, frantic residents waiting to fill their buckets with water appealed to government to make sure they had a steady supply of water, particularly as the country prepares for a 21-day lockdown in a bid to stem the spread of Covid-19.

Community leader Malibongwe Yisa said: “People had all the reason to panic at this time. You cannot urge people to wash hands and you starve them of water. There is real concern over the safety of people. Water should be vital now that we are facing this coronavirus,” he said.

Resident Nosiviwe Ntola condemned the City for not informing them why the taps ran dry.

“Whatever the reason might be, we should have been told first. It might have been a big problem to the system but the officials should have reached us and informed us.

“The next thing you see are people carrying buckets going somewhere you do not know. We do not want to see matters escalate into a situation where there are sick people and deaths. We are all scared of this thing,” she said.

The City of Cape said people should not panic and explained that there had been a pipe burst. The water supply, however, has since been restored.

The City’s spokesperson, Luthando Tyhalibongo, said: “The City’s water maintenance team attended to a burst water main in Mfuleni on the day, which they were not able to isolate. This resulted in them having to shut off the entire supply zone at the pressure reduction valve for the zone. This caused the disruption of the water supply to the residents in the area.

“The water supply has been restored,” he said.