The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in Gauteng, South Africa has accelerated efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) with the provision of 180 more water tankers to meet the demand of water-scarce communities across the province.
To date, the Department has delivered and installed a total of 1662 water tanks throughout the province. Across the country, the Department is on the frontline to make sure that communities have access to water as a means to enable them put the coronavirus at bay. This intervention, which is collaboration between the Department, Rand Water and municipalities, follows Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s appeal to prevent needy communities’ bearing the brunt of the virus, which has wreaked havoc worldwide.
The Department is not only focusing on supplying water tanks and tankers (trucks) to destitute communities but is also working on resolving water challenges that are received through its call centre.
Deterring the spread of COVID-19
To avoid the possibility of communities being hard hit by the outbreak of the virus, the Department has delivered 129 more water tanks in the City of Tshwane, increasing the number of water tanks provided to 319. In the City of Ekurhuleni an additional 51 water tanks were deployed to supplement the 166 already received.
Sibusiso Mthembu, Head of DWS in Gauteng, said the Department was making steady progress in supplying water to communities, adding that the delivery of water tanks to the communities would make a huge difference in deterring the spread of the virus. He said the Department would ensure it continued to execute it constitutional mandate to service vulnerable communities and ensure that collectively we deny this virus a chance of causing more harm.
Mthembu added that the provision of water is one of the basic rights that everyone in the country must enjoy, especially at this time of need when communities face the unprecedented spread of the virus.
“The present situation calls on us as government and like-minded structures to fight tooth and nail to see to it that disadvantaged communities are not left to their own devices. All of us must be instruments of change so that we provide protection to people who need us most at this time,” said Mthembu.
The Department has reiterated its call to communities to protect water resources provided to them to ensure that they last them for an extended period of time. “We appeal to community members to stop vandalising water infrastructure as this conduct is hampering government’s resolve to improve the lives of the people for better,” he emphasised.