North East District Council (NEDC) Chairperson, Florah Mpetsane has expressed concern over poor and old infrastructure that continues to impede the supply of water in the North East District.
Updating the councillors on the North East District – Tutume Sub District Water Supply Scheme on last week during a full council meeting she said that the main challenge they have is inadequate water infrastructure.
The North East District ÔÇô Tutume Sub District Water Supply Scheme is a project that was hatched by the two councils to address water challenges in villages within these districts.
“Ntimbale Dam and associated treatment works was designed to only supply 14 Mega Litres(ML) per day to address water demand for both North East and Tutume Sub District. Maitengwe well-field was supposed to serve as a standby source for both districts. Under design resulted in only half the production being available for supply to North East District and compelled Maitengwe well-field to be a permanent source for Tutume Sub-District,” she said.
Mpetsane said both schemes are used intermittingly to augment supply in both districts in cases of demand short falls. She however said despite these supply regimes, water from Ntimbale Dam is not even adequate to meet demand for North East District as flow pressures are not adequate to reach some villages such as Senyawe, Jackalas 1, Tshesebe and Themashanga. She said a rationing schedule has been devised to meet water demand for these villages.
“Furthermore, existing water distribution infrastructure across villages is old and dilapidated, resulting in persistent leakages. Water Utilities Corporation is in the process of replacing badly leaking pipes and upgrading portions of network and tank repairs,” she added.
On a positive note she said the design review of the North East District ÔÇô Tutume Sub District Water Scheme is complete. Mpetsane revealed that the project is at a tender stage and construction phase is expected to commence in June 2019 with completion for June 2021.
Among other important issues she said NEDC which is prone to human trafficking cases is currently prepared to deal with such criminal activities. She said to this end all councilors, social workers, some of the immigration workers and police officers based in the district have been trained with funding from the Department of Social Protection.
“Once again let me applaud the Department of Social Protection for funding our District with P285 183.00 to conduct a community leaders training and manage the existing human trafficking and anticipated migrant related cases. We hope to complete this training by April 2019 and to mobilize communities through various public forums,” Mpetsane said.