Legally, water in this country is a human right and it’s entrenched in our Constitution. However, residents in two Eastern Cape villages have been left without this precious life force for a couple of years.
In this week’s Farmer’s Inside Track podcast weekend edition, Audrey Mashao, environmental scientist at the Ekhurhuleni Water Care Company and Young Water Professional member, joins us to talk about their dire need and possible solutions.
The issue in the two villages in Fort Beaufort is due to a wide range of factors, Mashao says. These likely include a lack of proper planning and management when it comes to water services provision in the area.
Another possibility is a lack of resources when it comes to implementation of solutions to address the challenges at hand or limited finances.
“But we cannot rule out the issue of climate change, which is posing a major threat to the water resources. Especially considering that South Africa is a water scarce country. Therefore everyone has a role to play in this: from national to local government, researchers, finance and communities.”
Protect, manage and preserve
Mashao went on to say that the National Water Act – Act 86 of 1998 – provides the mechanisms to ensure that the basic rights to the provision of basic water supply and basic sanitation are realised.
The act mandates national government, through the department of water and sanitation, to ensure that the country’s water resources are protected, managed, well used, developed and conserved.
“Communities also need to ensure that they take care of the water infrastructure in their areas because they are at the receiving end. So, everyone has a role to play, from the national to the local at the community level,” Mashao adds.
Further in the podcast, Mashao unpacks:
- How farmers are impacted;
- The effect on the local economy; and
- Why the water woes need to resolved sooner rather than later.
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