Giyani water project: residents to face yet another dry Christmas

The project, initiated by the President, Jacob Zuma after identifying Muyexe in Giyani as a nodal point of development, is currently at an advance stage but the thirsty villagers in the drought -ridden area of Giyani will have to face yet another Christmas plus a new year without water but this time with virtual tracks of pipes en-route to supply water to their villages.

LIMPOPO – The project, initiated by the President, Jacob Zuma after identifying Muyexe in Giyani as a nodal point of development, is currently at an advance stage but the thirsty villagers in the drought -ridden area of Giyani will have to face yet another Christmas plus a new year without water but this time with virtual tracks of pipes en-route to supply water to their villages.
After spending over R2,8 billion in two years, the Department of Water and Sanitation, under the tutelage of Minister Nomvula Mokonyane told CV the project would need more billions to be complete before its 2009 deadline.
In 2009, the region of Mopani was declared a disaster area due to a shortage of water and sanitation services. In light of this, the Mopani District Municipality took a string of measures such as the drilling of boreholes and drawing water from Nandoni Dam in Venda to Giyani but all in vain. The failure was allegedly due to a myriad of reasons, including fraud and corruption by officials from the municipality.
Water and Sanitation spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau mentioned in 2014 during an Imbizo initiated by Zuma between Mokonyane and communities around Giyani, that women in the area spent six years fetching cholera infested water from rivers for their daily household needs.
Ratau said at the duration, patients at the local Nkensani Hospital were found to have consumed polluted water fetched from cholera infested rivers. “Newborns were discharged without being bathed. To add insult to injury, the aging water infrastructure in Giyani was collapsing, resulting into the waste water treatment plant spilling into the river and sending people to sick-beds,” said Ratau.
An in-depth three-week long investigation by CV revealed that in light of the protracted water woes in Mopani, the Supreme Court of Appeal made a judgement to take water authority from Mopani in-favour of the water and sanitation department. It was further discovered that the Lepelle Northern Water Board, which is a government entity responsible for bulk water supply in the province appointed LTE Consulting to revitalise water and waste water services in Giyani and its 55 villages.
Last week Ratau said LTE requested the services of Khato Civils in an endeavour to change the water situation for the better.
Lepelle Northern Water said among many other things, LTE was expected to refurbish and drill 154 boreholes which are equipped with new pump houses and electric distribution channels as well as the construction of water purification plants.
“A total of 16 priority villages had to be augmented with ground water, including Nkensani Hospital. The Nsami Water Treatment Plant needed revamping while Giyani and Morogholo transfer pump stations are also needed,” said CEO Phineas Legodi.
“The status of the borehole project is currently at 95% complete and envisaged to be completed by December 2016, depending on the electrical connection of Eskom,” added Legodi. According to the department, the Mopani/ Giyani water and wastewater intervention was budgeted at a tune of R2,2 billion.  “Because of the approved bill of quantity, the value of work contracted to LTE rose to R2,8 million. The emergency work would run until 2019 and for Giyani to have effective daily water supply, the department needs money to the tune of R11 billion- the budget which we do not have at the moment,” said Ratau.
thoko@nmgroup.co.za

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