Residents of Mavambe, Ghandlanani in Malamulele, took matters into their own hands on Monday, 20 November, by shutting down the Malamulele Water Treatment Scheme to show their dissatisfaction with the constant lack of water in their area. Photo supplied.
Frustration over the lack of clean drinking water for nearly a month reached boiling point for the residents of Mavambe, Ghandlanani, in Malamulele on Monday, 20 November, when they took matters into their own hands by shutting down the Malamulele Water Treatment Scheme.
According to the residents, their water crisis started after the passing of the late Collins Chabane mayor, Moses Maluleke. They say that, since then, they have been forced to share the Rivubye stream’s dirty water with animals.
Ms Rosinah Chabalala told this newspaper that many of the residents had little other choice than to fetch water from the polluted stream and boil it for cooking and drinking and other daily household needs. “The situation forces us to use water that is contaminated with used diapers and animal waste, and where some residents even swim. Since the passing of the former mayor, we sometimes spend weeks or months without water. Due to the scarcity, we have to walk far distances, pushing a wheelbarrow with two or three 25-litre containers of water,” she said.
Hosi Xirele Manganyi said the shortage of water was a big concern for the entire Malamulele area. He said that, as the community grappled with the ongoing water crisis, the plea for urgent intervention and to find a resolution grew louder. “The situation is not sitting well with us. Not everyone can afford to hire vehicles to fetch water for them, which leads them to use water from the contaminated stream. We are hoping that the Vhembe District Municipality (VDM) immediately resolves the matter, especially in this hot season,” he said.
Mr Matodzi Ralushai, spokesperson for the VDM, acknowledged the issue, citing maintenance delays from a lack of materials to fix the pipeline at the Malamulele Water Treatment Scheme. “The municipality is still in the process of acquiring materials, and once available, the pipeline will be fixed. The technical team is currently addressing water supply challenges through water trucks. However, some areas, like Ghandlanani, did not receive water delivery due to truck maintenance. This is being attended to as a critical issue because the municipality is concerned about water shortages in communities,” he said.
News - Date: 02 December 2023
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Thembi Siaga started as an intern during 2021. He assisted with video photography and editing. He also produced numerous small documentaries, focusing on the Vhembe region and its people. Currently he works as a freelance journalist, covering stories in the Elim area.
Thembi studied at the Tshwane University of Technology, where he completed his diploma in Journalism in 2021.