hen you walk around the Town of Welkom in the Free State Province of South Africa, lately you are welcome by a notice that indicates that the level of water we drink is not good for human intake. This then raises a question whether Matjhabeng Local Municipality is really working toward improving the level of water for drinking purpose, when residents always have to boil water before we can drink. Let alone that the water quality in the municipality has been a problem for a while and as a community based organization we have been trying to raise concern on this matter.
For months now when you open a tap you first have this brownish colour water gashing out of your tab, people have been suffering from stomach pain and water is not tasty and smell like it just came from clay soil. They also indicate that you can feel the soil taste even if water is boiled, in the tea or mixed on concentrated drinks. The problem that leads to poor level of water quality could be multi-pronged, however we are aware that untreated sewage channeled through storm water and ends up in Sand River which serve as one of supplies of community water. We spoke to residents and some of residents also indicate that there is lack of trained and qualified people in the municipality water department as they don’t have knowledge of water quality. It is alleged that the workers are not send to training sessions that will help them improve their skills and knowledge.
GUBICO is in a process of calling a Central Free State Water Hearing with 12 municipalities in Lejweleputswa District Municipality to report and engage of the status of green drop and blue drop in our areas. We are concern that lives maybe compromised because of ignorance and less of accountability from our municipalities. This matter needs and urgent intervention and we are keeping an eye as GUBICO to make sure our communities are mitigate this hazard that is has now become an issue for public concern. We are determining to take this matter forward, visit our blog in the coming week to get an update on the outcome of the highly anticipated and charged meeting.
On behalf of our Water Surveillance Team,
Reported by Mothobi Shabalala as Ground Investigative Monitor.