Afriforum to test Bloemhof water

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iol news pic Bloemhof water crisis 2

SAPA

A resident fills her bucket with contaminated water from a tap in the township of Boitumelong in Bloemhof in North West. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Johannesburg - Civil rights group AfriForum plans to conduct its own tests in Bloemhof, North West, after the town's water source had been contaminated.

“(The) tests, which will be analysed by an independent laboratory, will confirm the cause of the pollution,” said provincial co-ordinator Carmea Huysamen in a statement on Thursday.

“ (We) believe... (it) could have been caused by the spillage of raw sewage into the Vaal River.”

She said the contamination exposed problems with the quality of water in South Africa.

The results of the tests were expected by Tuesday, June 10.

North West health department spokesman Tebogo Lekgethwane earlier confirmed that a baby had died on Wednesday after contracting severe diarrhoea from the contamination.

Over 200 people reported to local clinics with similar symptoms since Saturday. He said claims of a cholera outbreak had not been confirmed.

Water tankers had been deployed to the area, while schools had been closed since Monday.

Earlier in the day, Boitumelong residents queued to fill containers with contaminated water from what appeared to be the only working tap in the area in a yard.

They said they needed the water even though it was impure because they had been without water for a week.

There was also no water at the local police station and municipal offices.

By Thursday afternoon, water in the tankers was depleted and people resorted to taking water from swimming pools.

Municipal manager Andrew Makwapane said Bloemhof's water system had been cleaned and supply would be restored within the next few hours.

He, however, urged people to boil the water before use.

Sapa


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