Faizel Patel – 24/02/2021
Humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers was urgently called in to assist in the Eastern Cape town of Makhanda after the taps ran dry for more than seven days.
After a series of small failures throughout January, the James Kleynhans Water Treatment works pump station in Makhanda, failed after its power station was flooded when a gasket blew.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Gift of the Givers Dr Imtiaz Sooliman says the problem was reported on Sunday and the situation is critical.
“We’ve got teams on the ground in Makhanda that actually stay there. Since late 2019/2020, they’ve been delivering water every day to various parts of the city. So over the two years there have been different crises, but never one so big. This is as big as the one we first intervened in February 2019.”
Dr Sooliman says there is less economic activity in Makhganda, adding that the town has been struggling, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic
He says local businesses do not stock much bottle water anymore.
“Even if there is water, a lot of people cannot afford to pay that amount of money for water anymore. A lot of them have lost their jobs, a lot of bed and breakfasts are not functional. Makhanda has been badly hit because it has been a university and tourist town, so even if they had the water in the shop, there’s not many people who can afford it.”
Dr Sooliman says there is also a huge crisis with farms in Makhanda, with many of them being destroyed by the current water situation.
Listen to the interview with Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman