James Masango MPL
Chief whip of the DA in Mpumalanga
The following is a member’s statement by James Masango to the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature.
The visit by a DA team last week to Bushbuckridge confirmed that clinics in the area are inundated with many patients diagnosed with water borne diseases.
There are also indications that the Department of Health had at some stage failed to supply residents with sachets to assist with water purification, making it suitable for human consumption. It is crucial that in time such as this, when there is a crisis of water, that pamphlets are distributed to educate the community on how to purify water.
This was not the case when we visited the area.
Although bilharzia is fairly easy to treat, long term damage is definite if an individual has been infected for an extended period of time. If an individual lives for years without knowing that he/she is infected, the liver, lungs, bladder and intestines will sustain damage.
Globally, water borne diseases are the second leading cause of death of children below the age of five years, while child mortality rate from acute respiratory infections ranks first.
In Mpumalanga the water supply and sanitation facilities are rapidly deteriorating and we are currently operating at a fraction of our installed capacity.
If urgent measures are not implemented we will be heading for disaster.