The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has delivered a further 141 water tanks across needy areas of Gauteng to push back against the rising tide of the novel Coronavirus pandemic.
So far, 1 926 water tanks have been distributed in the Cities of Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni and the Sedibeng and West Rand District Municipalities. Until recently, Gauteng was the epicentre of the virus before the Western Cape saw a spike in the number of cases related to the virus.
Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement for government to devise and implement extraordinary measures to slow the spread of the virus, the department has deployed officials who are at the forefront of delivering water tanks to different areas in the country in a bid to cushion the impact of the virus on the most vulnerable.
The water tanks will assist communities in water-stressed and densely populated informal settlements to wash their hands to ward off the virus.
Head of DWS in Gauteng, Sibusiso Mthembu, said a failure to provide water to needy communities would put them at the brink of a crisis of contracting the virus and that it was, therefore, important for them to access water to be able to wash their hands regularly.
Mthembu said there was an optimistic sign in Gauteng that the call for people to say at home and the washing of hands were having a positive impact as the province has moved away from being the epicentre of the virus. The department was especially aiming to protect the health of communities that were susceptible to the virus because it was most likely to spread in crowded environments.
Mthembu added that more work still needed to been done to curb the spread of the virus as it was accelerating fast but was more difficult to slow down, identifying dense environments as the feeding ground of the virus.
“There is still a long way to go to deal with the virus. So, the delivery of water to communities remains our absolute priority. The fact that Gauteng is no longer the hardest-hit province should not lull us into believing that we are out the wood. In fact, we still face some very difficult days ahead and thus we must double our efforts,” said Mthembu.
Edited By: Bradley Brizzy