Ricochet News

Eastern Cape receives over 3 400 water tanks and tankers from DWS, COGTA, private donors

Apr 6, 2020
Eastern Cape receives over 3 400 water tanks and tankers from DWS, COGTA, private donors

Port Elizabeth - In response to a call made by the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, to ensure that all homes have access to water, as means to fight the spread of Coronavirus, the department, through the Amatola Water Board, delivered 3 355 water tanks and 168 tankers (trucks) in all districts and metros around the Eastern Cape to date.

"Tanks have been delivered to Buffalo City Metro (209), Nelson Mandela metro (108), Alfred Nzo District Municipality (415), Amathole District Municipality (492), Chris District Municipality (575), Joe Gqabi (76), OR Tambo District Municipality (670) and Sarah Bartmaan (810)," said Sputnik Ratau, Spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation.

"While some tanks have been installed and already in use, a huge number of them are in the process of installation. While they are awaiting installation, the department has instructed that all tankers be used to either service tanks that have already been stationed around municipalities or to provide water directly from the tankers at strategic points."

The Eastern Cape had been declared a drought disaster province and these COVID-19 interventions come at the tale of previous drought interventions that have been spearheaded by the department.

"Thus, these tanks and tankers will also act as remedial efforts to tackle the ongoing drought in the province," Ratau added.

"Amatola Water Board has established a war room in East London, where the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) led by Deputy Minister Pam Tshwete, Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Office of the Premier and Amatola Water Board meet daily to ensure that the directive from Minister Sisulu is implemented with precision."

Premier Oscar Mabuyane recently visited the war room and commended the work being done so far, to ensure that the people of the Eastern Cape have access to clean water and are able to wash their hands as required.

"Deputy Minister Pam Tshwete emphasised that these tanks will be delivered, installed and filled with water by the department, but municipalities are expected to maintain these tanks and ensure that they are placed in accessible areas where people in rural areas and informal settlements can have access to water," Ratau said.

"Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has appealed to all South Africans to maintain hygiene practices, but to also remember to save water, as South Africa is a water scarce country.

"Furthermore, the Minister has urged all communities to work together in ensuring that these tanks and tankers are protected by them and are not vandalised."

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