“Only one of the water tanks can be utilised as the other two water tanks do not have taps.
THE COMMUNITY of Hak en Steek informal settlement in Barkly West has very little access to water after they were reportedly provided with water tanks with faulty taps.
Residents said yesterday that they have to walk a long distance to collect water from the only tank in the area that is working.
“There is not a sufficient water supply for the entire settlement. For the past four months we have had to fill 20-litre containers and carry them back home in order to wash ourselves, do laundry and have drinking water. If we want a warm bath, we have to heat the water over a fire,” said the residents.
Independent ward councillor Mentley Bezuidenhout said that three water tanks were provided for the informal settlement at the start of the national lockdown, in order for residents to observe hygiene practices to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“Only one of the water tanks can be utilised as the other two water tanks do not have taps. Residents are not able to wash their hands, drink water or bath. This means that the money was wasted as the water tanks serve no purpose. No effort was made to replace the taps, at a minimal cost,” said Bezuidenhout.
He indicated that the tap to one of the water tanks was faulty from the start and that it had not been tampered with or vandalised. “The second water tank also did not have a tap when I checked on Thursday (yesterday). We advised the community to take care of the water tanks as it was made available for their benefit.
“We requested the municipality to assist in replacing the taps but to date nothing has been done. There is a leaking pipe where fresh water is wasted.”
Bezuidenhout added that the trucks that were supposed to fill the water tanks in Hak en Steek were not seen in the area.
He pointed out that residents could not afford to buy bottled water and hand sanitiser.
“There are about 400 shanties in the informal settlement, where mostly elderly residents and young children reside. They also do not have any electricity supply.”
He said community members were fighting over the water. “People become angry when the water in the tanks is used to water gardens or if they feel some people are taking more than their share.”
Bezuidenhout also stated that the sewerage system in Iris Street near Barkly West Primary School was blocked resulting in raw sewage running down the streets.
“The sewage is leaking at the four-way crossing between Mataleng and Debeershoogte.”
No response to media enquiries was received from the Department of Water and Sanitation yesterday, while Dikgatlong Municipality could not be reached for comment.