SHORTAGE OF WATER
SEVERE DROUGHT IN MTUBATUBA
UMkhanyakude District Municipality is currently experiencing a serious drought especially in the Mtubatuba Area. The lengthy winter (dry season) compounded by the dry weather conditions has resulted in the uMfolozi River drying up. This is affecting the supply of water to both Mtubatuba and Nkolokotho Water Treatment Plants which is causing interrupted supply of water from time to time.
This situation has negatively impacted on the water treatment figures at the Mtubatuba Water Treatment Plant. The current storage levels at the Kwa Bobhoza Reservoir is as follows:
Reservoir No 1: 15 %
Reservoir No 2: 13 %
Reservoir No 3: 0 %
Reservoir No 4: 18 %
Spokesperson for UMkhanyakude District Municipality Mr. Mduduzi Dlamini has personally stated that the municipality has intervention plans in place and water tankers will be increased in their rotation to supply the affected areas.
UMkhanyakude District Municipality Mayor Cllr. S.J. Vilane has also written to MEC Nomusa Dube requesting that CoGTA declare the District an emergency disaster area in terms of the severe drought conditions that is being experienced and that a Drought Relief Programme be urgently conducted to assist the rural communities that are severely affected by the water shortage.
Whilst several large water supply schemes are operational, and several more are in the process of being designed, constructed and upgraded, a large portion of the population within the District still relies heavily on localized groundwater resources often at a survival level of (5l/cap/day).
A long term intervention is in place at the moment in which is an agreement between UMkhanyakude District Municipality and uThungulu District Municipality to connect a Bulk Water Pipe Line from Nsezi River to cover Mtubatuba.
The municipality urges all residents within the district to please use water sparingly!
Water Supply Development PROJECTS ON TRACK!
The Umkhanyakude District Municipality at its recent Water Summit, identified the various water challenges facing the District and developed a plan which is currently being implemented. Key stakeholders including, The Department of Economic Development and Tourism, COGTA, Department of Water Affairs, Umhlatuze Water, Business Leaders, Investors, Engineers, Water Technologists, Umkhanyakude District Traditional Leaders and Councillors all converged to discuss the water risk challenges in the Umkhanyakude District. This shared platform developed a plan which was then put forward to government for it to invest in the water infrastructure within the Umkhanyakude District Municipality.
Umkhanyakude District Mayor Jeffrey Vilane who championed the plight of the water situation in Umkhanyakude, emphasised that “ the goal of Umkhanyakude District Municipality is to provide water supply at a basic level of service to all households in each local municipality within the district. The Honorable Mayor Villane together with government and the local leadership, spearheaded a campaign to bring water to communities that previously had no access to clean water. This situation has undergone radical changes and the communities within Umkhanyakude can look forward with hope and belief that water will be piped to them.
Prior to 2011 the municipality had no infrastructure or plan in place to address the water challenges facing the district even though the Pongolapoort Dam is situated within the district of Jozini. Since 2011 the municipality has put in place a short term, medium term and long term intervention plan to address the inherited backlogs. These plans require huge funding but the municipality is still committed to ensuring that this process will not be hindered. This phased plan includes projects that have already started and those that are going to be started shortly.
These plans include:
• Increasing the number of water tankers to supply free water to communities within the District as a short term plan.
• Increasing the digging up of the no of boreholes within the District as a short term plan
• Purchase and installation of the steel water pipes to prevent manufacturing delays and save on costs associated with the ever increasing steel and transport prices, as part of the long term plan.
• Construction of a Water Treatment Plant in Jozini and the bulk water supply to Mbazwane
• Shemula Water Treatment Works Upgrade to Kwangwanase
• Shemula Upgrade to Ndumo and Manyiseni.
The Umkhanyakude District Municipality is committed to service delivery of water within the district and ensuring that the communities will benefit with a clean and consistent supply of water.