Butterworth Communities hit hard by Drought

By Irshaad Gangat

Butterworth communities have been hit hard as the drought continues to tighten its grip on water supplies in the area. Ground water has become the only source for these communities.

The Department of Water and Sanitation approved ADM’s request to utilize R 3.3million from its Regional Infrastructure Grant (RBIG) funding to hire 6 additional tankers for two months from October 2020.

At 10 000 litres per tanker, these will be able to cart to 36 plastic tanks a day having done 3 trips. This will augment supply for a short period of time.

“As part of our long term solutions, DWS has allocated 724 million towards the Tsomo Bulk Line which will take 48 months to complete its first phase starting from October 2020. The Department has also committed to raise the wall of Gcuwa Weir to increase its capacity,” said the ADM media statement.

The tankers utilise boreholes in Teko Fihla and Golf Course and to a certain extent, Kei Bridge, to cart water to the affected communities. Groundwater contingencies include equipping additional boreholes at Butterworth Golf Course and Teko Kona, a project whose completion was initially earmarked for end September 2020 but delayed due to unforeseen challenges emanating from the periodic lockdown phases and subsequent closure of industries.

Xilinxa, the main supplying dam, is without water, apart from “dead storage” which is water that is below the outlet of the dam which the Amathole District Municipality (ADM) pumps to Kotana/Ehlobo Water Treatment Works and reticulates it through communal standpipes to feed Kotana and Ehlobo villages.

The Gcuwa Weir remains without sufficient water to supply Butterworth communities. With the assistance of the Department of Water and Sanitation, (DWS) ADM has received 10 hired water tankers to add to its 3 that service the area.

ADM continues to plead with communities to use the limited water supply sparingly, guard against vandalism of water infrastructure as this puts more strain to the system and report water leaks.


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