Daily Sun Newspaper Article. 01.08.2019

These people have no choice. They are forced to get their drinking water from a muddy river at Ga-Moretsele, which has begun to dry up in the drought. Photo by Godfrey Pandeka

SEKHUKHUNE residents fear they might get sick – from drinking dirty river water.Dirty Water

But they have no choice because the river has been their only source of water for almost four years. And it could run dry in two months.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Water Research Commission has warned that the district is at 90% risk: it’s dangerous to use river water.

But residents at Ga-Moretsele, outside Jane Furse, say the water they use for bathing and cooking is also used by donkeys and cows in the Moretsele River.

The locals live in fear of being poisoned by their own drinking water.

Resident Mmaphutego Moretsele said: “Life is difficult for us. Women fear they might be attacked while going to the river. And that water is dirty.”

The CSIR group leader, Dr Marius Claassen, said: “Waste water which is not properly treated ends up in the river.

“By not treating water properly, the municipality puts peoples’ lives at risk.

“TheLocal pharmacist, Thabo Mmotong, said it’s totally wrong to drink water from the river and that people are at high risk of getting infected with bilharzia – a disease caused by parasitic worms.

Sekhukhune district spokesman, Willy Mosoma, said the municipality can only condemn the practice of drinking river water.

He added: “We say to them: if they have a water challenge in some areas, let them ask for help from the municipality. We will help them we have water tankers”

He did admit some villages have challenges in getting running water. “We will attend to the matter as it is urgent. We will investigate and help the people who voted for service delivery,” he said.

– Daily Sun

people must boil water for three minutes before using!”