DA launches phase one to bring water to rural communities in EC

Issued by Dr Vicky Knoetze, MPL
Shadow MEC for COGTA

People living in rural villages across the Eastern Cape are battling daily to secure water for their daily needs despite this right being enshrined in the constitution. They are forced to walk long distances to collect water from rivers, or drink water from animal troughs, because the municipal taps they have been provided are dry.

This situation has been further aggravated by the excessive loadshedding, which disrupts pumping on water distribution networks, causing some areas to go without water for weeks.

The Democratic Alliance is keenly aware of the challenges our people face on a daily basis and is constantly seeking innovative ways to overcome these challenges.

One such innovative solution is the revolutionary Papa Pump, a modern take on a traditional Ram Pump, which can move water over vast distances without electricity.

When this solution was presented by the DA in the Eastern Cape Legislature, however, the ANC immediately blocked the motion, which called for the exploration of alternative solutions to the rural water crisis and the implementation of a pilot project to investigate the use of this technology in the province.

The DA will not be deterred by the ANC’s narrow-minded self-interests, and has now begun with phase one of a pilot project to investigate the feasibility of this technology.

We have identified communities in eKomani, that have been battling with an irregular water supply and have been commuting kilometres every day to collect water from rivers and streams. Recently myself, Enoch Mgijima Constituency Leader Jane Cowley, and local councillors conducted site visits to identify possible locations for the pump and water pipes.

The next step will be to determine the flow rates at the specific sites identified, as well as historic flood data, to determine which site is best suited for the pilot rollout. We will also be engaging with the private sector to source funders for the rollout of the initiative.

The DA will continue to drive innovation in the best interests of the people of the Eastern Cape.