By: Zahid Jadwat
After two full weeks without running water, 860 000 residents of the greater Durban area in the eThekwini Municipality should have their water reconnected as Umgeni Water has restored 130 megalitres. The water service authority says further repairs will get underway this week.
However, the water provider warned residents to use water sparingly as supply to Durban – home to nearly 4 million people – remains limited due to severe damage caused to infrastructure by the recent storm.
“Post the disaster, we’ve managed to recover an additional 130ML. We’re estimating [an allocation of] 150 litres per person, per day. So if people use more water, there’s going to be less people that have access to water,” said Umgeni Water chairperson Gabsie Mathenjwa.
The repairs of two aqueducts supplying the city from the Nagle Dam will begin this week. “Umgeni Water has advised of a number of sites in KZN (in the south, central and north) where repairs will be effected. The estimated costs for those repairs were projected to be around R857 500 000,” said Minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu.
However, Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda previously indicated that repairs could take as long as six months as the Durban Heights Water Treatment Plant requires a complete upgrade.
In the meantime, the City is exploring alternative measures to restore the water supply, including water rationing in certain areas since Saturday (23 April) and ongoing water distribution through tankers.
Listen to Radio Islam’s latest interview for more coverage on the KZN floods aftermath: