Umgeni Water hopes to restore supply to normal levels in eThekwini within days

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Bulk water supplier in KwaZulu-Natal, Umgeni Water says its supply to the eThekwini Metro will reach close to normal levels within days after extensive damage caused by the floods.

The chairperson of the board Gabsie Mathenjwa says after repairs over the past week they will be able to restore water supply to eThekwini to about 90 percent.

Water supply fell to about 50 percent due to flood damage. Umgeni Water is increasing the volume being supplied to the city from Inanda Dam.

Mathenjwa says a contractor will be appointed this week to repair the two pipelines from Nagle Dam, which were severely damages in several places by rockfalls in the Inanda area.

“The contractors still need to do some assessment because what is transpired the last time we went to KwaNgcolosi we visually and physically saw some of the infrastructure that was damaged. But when we hire the chopper later, we realised that on the other side of the hill, there is further damage. Today we then explained to them that although we have a contractor on site but we still need two additional dates to further assessment so by Friday we confidently say to them this is where we are and this is the estimated times that will take us to fix the infrastructure,” says Mathenjwa.

Warning to boil water before use

Mathenjwa has warned people not to use water gushing out of broken pipes without boiling it first.

“So although we have water of good quality from the pipes, we warning and pleading with the people, please don’t drink because they won’t be able to determine whether its good quality water or its waste water. The human eye some of them are not easily distinguishable. So, we say to the people please we are testing the water. The waste water quality is still waste water, so its its not good for drinking.”

Temporary shelters

The KZN provincial government says it is moving with speed to restore the province to its normal state after it was affected by the floods that left hundreds of people dead, with reports that 53 people are still unaccounted for.

Briefing the media on the latest developments, the province’s Premier Sihle Zikalala said that the construction of over 4 300 temporary residential units that will house families who’ve lost their homes should be completed by the end of this week

The South African Red Cross Society says money has been made available for people whose houses were destroyed. The aid organisation has urged those affected to get in contact.

Siyabonga Hlatshwayo, KZN provincial Manager at SA Red Cross, shares more: