WATER CRISIS – DECLARE DIEPSLOOT A DISASTER

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Caucus Leader

The water crisis at Diepsloot should be declared a disaster so that extra resources can be brought in to assist from other municipalities as well as the army.

I visited the area this morning with a DA delegation including Thomas Walters MPL, Clr John Mendelsohn and local DA leader Refilwe Mathebula.

We visited the OR Tambo Clinic which has tried to operate without water since last week. Staff have been forced to buy water from a local garage. They have seen a worrying uptick in diarrhoea cases this week because of the contaminated water which contains e-coli.

The health situation could worsen if the water problem is not fixed soon.

The biggest threat to health, however, is the risk taken by residents crossing a busy highway to fetch water from unaffected suburbs.

We were told that women with children on their backs and carrying water cartons dash across the road. This is horrifying as lives could be lost.

We saw for ourselves this morning people with cartons on their heads crossing the N14 highway.

It is clear that the Johannesburg Metro Council does not have enough water trucks to cope with this situation.

A disaster should have been declared far earlier. We should learn from this to react far quicker in future.

We will see more cases of contaminated water unless maintenance is given a far higher priority. Meanwhile we should improve our disaster response.

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