Durban - A school outside Durban has received 11 200 litres of water, some of which was purified and packaged in bottles at the South African National Defence Force's (SANDF) Water Purification Plant in Hazelmere Dam.
Earlier this week, SANDF soldiers - deployed under Operation Chariot following heavy rains and flooding in KwaZulu-Natal - delivered 11 200 litres of water to Phakathi Secondary School in Klaarwater.
Major Mpho Mathebula said Phakathi Secondary School had been without water for more than two weeks and the management of the school had been forced to close early, daily, because of the absence of clean ablution facilities, as well as the lack of drinking and cooking water.
Deputy school principal Fikile Nkomo said: “We are grateful for the intervention of the SA National Defence Force in our plight. Your support on this matter will enable us to keep our learners focused on the preparation for the mid-year exams.”
Nkomo told the SANDF that the bottled water would be distributed among the learners while the water from the bunker would be used to clean the school and get the ablution facilities operational again.
Lieutenant-Colonel Moses Simanga Thakamakgooa thanked the staff of Phakathi Secondary School for calling on the SANDF for help.
“Schools play the important role of grooming and preparing young people to be positive participants in society and, as the SA National Defence Force, we are grateful for the opportunity to support you in your work of building the country,” Thakamakgooa said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Water and Sanitation said KZN dam levels remained steady for two consecutive weeks, maintaining above-average levels at 92.0% from last week’s 92.9%. When compared to a similar period last year, the provincial storage capacity stood at 73.0%.
This was revealed by a weekly report on the status of dam levels by the Department of Water and Sanitation in KZN issued early this week, said Department of Water & Sanitation spokesperson Sputnik Ratau.
“Although a minimal decline has been recorded with most dams maintaining above-average levels, the department has cautioned residents to continue using water sparingly,” Ratau said.
He said the Umgeni Water Supply System had decreased from 103.7% to 101.9% this week:
- Hazelmere Dam declined significantly from last week’s 73.9% to 53.9% this week.
- The Driel Barrage, Woodstock and Zaaihoek Dams remain at 86.6%, 101.7% and 90.6% respectively.
- Dams in the Umgeni System, Midmar (100.6%), Albert Falls (102.1%), Nagle (101.9%) and Spring Grove (101.2%), are also at above-average levels this week.
- Ntshingwayo Dam on the Ngagane River has marginally declined from 81.1% recorded last week to 79.7%.
- Wagendrift Dam is at 101.4% from 103.4%.
- Craigieburn and Mearns Dams have seen a minimal decrease at 100.7% and 110.7% respectively. The dams recorded 101.3% and 125.5% last week.
- Pongolapoort Dam is slightly down from 86.3% to 85.8% while Hluhluwe Dam is down from 83.1% to 83.8%.
- Goedertrouw Dam is standing at 100.2% from 100.3%.
- Klipfontein Dam has taken a slight dip from 101.3% to 100.7%.
“The department continues to work closely with the provincial government to implement measures to alleviate water scarcity challenges such as the effective roll-out of mega water infrastructure projects through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant programme, and the Water Services Infrastructure Grant,” Ratau said.
“Residents are urged to use water sparingly and report water leaks and water infrastructure vandalism to local authorities.”