Taps in the drought-stricken Free State town of Senekal have started running again, after 8 weeks of no water, the Setsoto local municipality said on Monday.
Municipal manager Tshepiso Ramakarane said the river was filled to 80% of its capacity due to recent rain.
For the past few weeks, the community’s only source of water has been deliveries by tanker trucks.
“The rainfall we had two weeks ago really helped us a lot. Our river is now 80% full and not only because of the rain in Senekal, but because of water flowing all the way from Bethlehem to Senekal,” Ramakarane said.
Mike Odendaal, from the local business forum, said he was pleased they had received some much needed rainfall, although not enough.
“Schools are now coping much better. Our children can now have a good shower before they go to school. But I really think we need more rain or we will go back to not having water,” he said.
The municipality said now that water was flowing again, they had resumed water restrictions. Residents would receive water from 05:00 until 09:00 every day.
“Although our taps have started running again, it doesn’t solve the problem, because it is still not sustainable. We still need to use water sparingly,” Ramakarane said.
The defence force in Bethlehem, aid organisations, and volunteers from other provinces had been working together to deliver water to residents in Senekal since their taps stopped running from December 14.
To date… Hydrate SA have delivered over 3 million litres of water, all donated by concerned South Africans.
The municipality have also finally jumped on board & are reliving around 260 000 litres of water a day to residents, which equated to 50 litres per household per day.
The municipality said they were buying it from local farmers for 15 cents a litre.
Farmers were however concerned that their boreholes were running dry, and had reduced their output.
Senekal residents had complained that 50 litres a day was not nearly enough for a family.
Some said they started queuing for water from 03:00 and sometimes waited in line for hours, with no sign of water trucks.
The drought crisis is still a huge concern & South Africans are asked to keep up their water saving efforts while still helping fellow South Africans.