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City residents left high and dry

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Only a little water trickled out from some of the taps, much to the disappointment of community members

NO WATER: Majority of the JoJo tanks around Kimberley were empty and children stood waiting for their containers to fill while the water trickled out yesterday afternoon. Pictures: Soraya Crowie

THE MAJORITY of JoJo water tanks stationed in different neighbourhoods in Kimberley were yesterday empty by lunchtime.

The Sol Plaatje Municipality customer service call centre said yesterday that it was inundated with calls from community members reporting that the JoJo tanks were empty.

Community members in Homevale, Bloemanda, Roodepan and Lerato Park had to return to their homes with empty buckets and water bottles after the tanks ran dry.

Only a little water trickled out from some of the taps, much to the disappointment of community members.

Some residents had to travel to other areas in order to find water.

Residents from Homevale who went to a JoJo tank located on the corner of Fourth and 13th streets, said that although they had made provision for water prior to the city wide water shutdown, their supply was running low by yesterday.

“We filled up our water bottles and other containers with water when we received news about the shutdown. We have been using this water that we stored away, however, the water has since run out. We are not sure whether the water will last until Monday and some of us are now forced to buy five litre containers of water from supermarkets,” they said.

They said that the fact that the tank had to supply a great amount of people had an impact on water availability.

“There are some people who might have not made the needed arrangements for the shutdown and are only reliant on the tanks. The people from Homestead also had no water tanks in their area and had to get water from this side. There is a large amount of people who come to collect water at this point.”

Community members from Homestead said that they felt as though the municipality did not take their water needs into regard.

“The municipality printed a list of where water tanks will be situated . that there will be a tank in Natasha Street and another one in Riverton Street. There is not one JoJo tank in the entire Homestead. We now have to walk through the veld to Homevale in order to get some water. The municipality thinks that the needs of residents in Homestead can just be ignored. It is as if we do not have the same needs as everyone else or that we fall under another municipality.”

Roodepan and Lerato Park residents also felt the impact of the lack of water.

“The taps on some of the tanks were stolen. That has now resulted in the tanks not being refilled as the water would just flow out. This is really frustrating as the water will only be back on Monday,” they said.

Others said that the tanks were located too far fof certain community members.

“The tanks are situated far from each other. Residents in Lerato Park in Phase Two have to get water at Roodepan supermarket. That is a very far distance to walk. There are elderly people who have to walk far in order to get water.”

Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson, Sello Matsie, said that the vandalism and theft of taps hindered the supply of water to some areas.

Matsie said that although they had previously printed a list of places where tanks would be available, the list was later adjusted.

He added that the filling of the tankers was very time consuming as they had to refill more than 180 JoJo tanks stationed around the city.