Only 24-hour clinic in KwaNobuhle was without running water for five days
Water was restored late on Monday after staff threatened to down tools
Laetitia Bam Day Hospital in KwaNobuhle, Kariega, was without clean running water since Thursday. The water was restored late on Monday following interventions by members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union after staff threatened to protest.
A staff member, who asked not to be named, told GroundUp that water supply has been intermittent in recent weeks. “When we want to relieve ourselves, there is sometimes no water to flush the toilets,” she said.
“We are the biggest clinic in KwaNobuhle and the only one that operates 24-hours. Water should be a priority in this institution.”
Dozens of patients were seen seated in the clinic’s yard near the gates where a concrete slab for a Jojo tank installation is underway. For nearly a month, taps in parts of Kariega and Gqeberha have been dry.
Treatment Action Campaign provincial chairperson Thembisile Nogampula said, “Water is one of the essential sources that we need on a daily basis, more so in public healthcare facilities. We went to the municipal office in Gqeberha last Friday because nurses were threatening to down tools.”
In response to questions about the water outage at the clinic, Eastern Cape health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said that the district was procuring PVC tanks “to ensure there’s some form of storage of water and we will then truck water in from other areas when required”. Kupelo did not give further details.
Municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki said in a statement that Kariega’s water disruptions were a result of critical planned maintenance work at the weekend.
He said water tankers are being deployed to assist residents and apologised for the inconvenience it caused.
© 2021 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.
We put an invisible pixel in the article so that we can count traffic to republishers. All analytics tools are solely on our servers. We do not give our logs to any third party. Logs are deleted after two weeks. We do not use any IP address identifying information except to count regional traffic. We are solely interested in counting hits, not tracking users. If you republish, please do not delete the invisible pixel.