Residents suffering without water
LATOYA NEWMAN email@example.com
FOR more than three weeks, the community of Trenance Park in Verulam has not had water.
In recent weeks, the POST has highlighted the plight of residents living in the northern suburbs – uMhlanga, Phoenix, Verulam and oThongathi – who have been hardest hit by the ongoing water outages.
Residents living on Madrona Drive in Trenance Park said that they were suffering without water and felt “abandoned” by the government.
Samantha Pillay, 58, said: “We had our first shutdown in the first week of November. The eThekwini Municipality promised immediately after the shutdown that we would have access to water.
“However, when they opened the valves, another leak was detected. There was another shutdown on November 21. To date, we still have no water in our taps. No one can tell us what the problem is and when it will be resolved.”
Last Thursday marked 26 days that this community has had no water.
“We have been relying on municipal tankers, but it is mainly Venk-Pac’s Mr Ricky Naidoo who brings us water. Sometimes the municipality tankers will come once a day, or they won’t come at all.
“Despite having no water, our utility
JAMES Haripersad and other residents indicate how far they have to walk to meet water tankers and carry the water to their homes. bill is high. I have been to the local Sizakala Centre and they refer me to the municipal call centre. But they can’t tell us why we don’t have any water in our taps, yet we are still being billed. No one can tell us what reading they are using for these bills,” added Pillay.
Neela Govender, 79, said: “We have to take care of my 54-year-old mentally and physically disabled son. We can only give him a bed bath; it was easier when we could put him in the bath. I have nobody to help me carry water if the tankers come during the day. My husband used to do this but he died four months ago.
“Now I don’t have him and I can’t fetch the water. I can’t walk properly. I can’t stand for long. I suffer with my legs. If the water trucks come, I ask someone to help me. If I see if any children
ANGELA ‘Angiema’ Naidoo, 75, collects water from a tanker at the lower end of Madrona Drive. on the road, I give them R5 for helping to carry the water to my home. It’s so hard. We need access to water from our taps,” said Govender.
The residents of Madrona Drive made news recently for allegedly holding an official of the municipality hostage when he went to the Trenance Reservoir 3, which served their area.
Another resident, Ram Gunas, said they protested at the reservoir because they had been without water for too long.
“One of the water officials came and went into the reservoir. He said he was going to check the pump. When he came back, we asked him what was going on. He refused to answer. He tried to drive off while we were still standing there, so we blocked the driveway.”
Gunas said they did not want to fight, and they just wanted answers.
“We are desperate for answers and
NEELA Govender, 79, reaches for some water that her family and neighbours helped collect for her. for the water to be restored. It has been three weeks without water in our taps. Even if the city sends a water truck, it starts at the bottom of the road and by the time they reach us at the top, the water is finished. We are the ones who are suffering the most, but nobody cares,” said Gunas.
James Haripersad, 67, said: “I have a problem with my spine and lower back. Having to go on to the road to fill water is painful. Most times the tankers will not stop outside our homes. We have to walk quite a distance to fetch the water and sometimes the tankers come as late as 11pm.
“Now, who will know that the tanker is coming so late at night? Our utility bills are so high. It does not make sense. When we go to Sizakala Centre, no one can help us. They send us from one person to the next. Then you are sent to the offices in Durban. Then you must call the call centre. So who do we talk to? In this part of Madrona Drive, we are living to suffer,” said Harripersad.
African News Agency