Limpopo traditional surgeons concerned about clean water provision for initiation schools amid cholera

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Traditional surgeons in Limpopo expressed concerns that the authorities are failing to deliver clean water to initiation schools, following a directive by Traditional Affairs MEC, Basikopo Makamu, that all municipalities should provide clean water to initiation schools to curb the spread of cholera.

According to the latest figures, 43 people have died in the country due to cholera since the outbreak was first reported in February 2023.

Two weeks have passed since Makamu promised the municipalities that they would be directed to deliver clean water to initiation schools in the province.

Speaking during a media briefing, Makamu said water was to be provided to all 587 approved initiation schools.

A promise caretakers of initiates and traditional surgeons at the initiation schools say is yet to be fulfilled.

Traditional Healer Motupa Ramodike says, “The municipality has since promised to deliver water to us but till today we are still waiting for them. They said they will provide water through tankers but even today we are still waiting.”

Those tasked to care for the initiates say they have resorted to fetching water from the rivers.

Traditional Healer Pontsho Mampa says, “We did not receive anything from the municipality we paid 460 rand as part of applications to open initiation schools but we never received anything until today we are still waiting for water and other essentials.”

Meanwhile, the water authority, the Polokwane municipality, says it’s working on a plan to deliver water to several initiation schools on a weekly basis.

Polokwane Municipality spokesperson Thipa Selala says, “The municipality has received several requests from several initiation schools to supply water through water tankers and we are working with ward councillors to draw up a schedule to ensure schools receive water at least every week into their storage. We will do this without interrupting the existing plan and areas that are depended on water tankers. It should also be noted that the municipality has shortage of water tankers however the procurement of new tankers is being finalised. We are expecting delivery of water tankers by august 2023.”

The health department has promised to conduct regular inspections to ensure clean water is provided to initiation schools.