Government asked to probe water challenge at Sol Plaatje Municipality

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Desperate Kimberley residents are calling on the national government to probe the water challenges facing the Sol Plaatje Municipality.

The municipality implemented an emergency three-day water shutdown on Wednesday following major leaks in the main water supply pipelines.

On Thursday, residents were left stranded in temperatures reaching 39 degrees Celsius, waiting for water trucks.

Residents are at their wits’ end because of the impromptu water shutdown. The municipality announced that taps would remain dry until the weekend while it fixes leaking pipes.

This has left residents fuming and demanding intervention from the national government. Some took to the streets, barricading roads with burning tyres and rocks after water tankers failed to arrive.

“We don’t have water to drink, we don’t have water bath and there is a heatwave,” says Masechaba Ntsane, resident.

“The little that we have is finished now we have to buy water, they said they are going to put trucks with tanks, we have not seen those trucks,” says Onkabetse Diphatse resident.

Video: Three-day water shutdown for Kimberley residents

The municipality has also temporarily closed one of the main water reservoirs. Small businesses like salons which rely on water to operate are affected by the crisis.

“Our clients are not washing because there is no water. No water to do their hair. In the toilet, there is no water to flush and we have to pay our landlords,” says Sam Kofi Ohemeng, salon manager.

Some health facilities were not spared either. Some patients allege they were turned away due to the lack of water.

“There is no water. They are helping kids and other patients, pregnant women like sick people,” says a resident Cynthia Aaron.

As the demand for water increases the Sol Plaatje Municipality has called on residents with trucks for assistance in delivering water to the various locations.

Video: Water woes for Kimberley residents