OurHealth

Villagers get water after 20 dry years

Written by Cynthia Maseko

After two decades, clean water will once again flow when Mgobodzi residents open their taps. Those residents in the village in the Nkomazi local municipality in Mpumalanga, who could afford to pay R15 for 25 litres of water had no choice but to share streams with animals.

However, several weeks after Nkomazi Mayor Johan Musa Mkhatshwa was sworn in, he has made service delivery a priority – and high on his list was to ensure that the people of Mgobodzi had running water so they would no longer have to share local steams with animals for drinking, washing and cooking.

Community elder Sarah Ngobeni said she was grateful. “From now on I will enjoy my pension because I will no longer use it to buy water, which I was supposed to be provided for free by the  municipality.”

Accountable

Resident Andries Khoza said the reason the community has lived without clean water for so long was that no one in the municipality was ever held accountable. “And now a new mayor comes and things start to happen. Our prayer is that he will continue to bring service delivery to the communities, especially to the villages because this is where people are struggling the most.”

Nkomazi Municipality spokesperson Cyril Repinga said the Mgobozi water shortage had been placed high on the agenda and people in most of the area were now getting water.

“There is another intervention project that has been completed and water is now pumping into the reservoir. There is another project that will start soon and will augment this current project,” he said.

About the author

Cynthia Maseko

Cynthia Maseko joined OurHealth in 2013 as a citizen journalist working in Mpumalanga. She is passionate about women’s health issues and joined Treatment Action Campaign branch as a volunteer after completing her matric. As an activist she has been involved with Equal Treatment, Planned Parenthood Association of South Africa, Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV and also with Marie Stopes Clinic’s project Blue Star dealing with the promotion of safe abortions and HIV education.