Water, Sewage & Effluent May-June 2017 - Page 25

• The closure of the irrigation canals in winter for cleaning and maintenance added to the ongoing problems the community faced. Monthly Never Vukani Household category RDP Experienced a water outage recently 96% Duration of out- age (average) 5 days Store water for use in emergency 97%   Most suitable emergency water storage identified: Street tank (5 000ℓ) 26.51% Personal water barrel (blue 250ℓ) 71.08% None of the above 2.41%   This resulted in more residents showing the willingness to contribute financially to a meaningful water storage solution: Yes No 91.04% 8.96%   Understandably, this solution will not be suitable in areas where there is no supply, but there are many areas with some provision of piped water that is simply unreliable. Looking at a more long-term and sustainable solution, I strongly suggest that every household installs water Dr Tally Palmer. storage tanks as soon as possible. Household water tanks, with proper use, is a safe and healthy way to use water in our homes. This needs to happen together with public-private partnerships, local private enterprises, water tank suppliers, and local entrepreneurs who can secure, keep stocks of as well as sell and deliver tanks. Working together with municipalities will ensure every household in the affected areas has a secure water supply. Unilever is leading the charge and piloting such partnerships. But the success of this will be in the collective action of us all. Unilever is currently seeking other partners to ignite its solution: Water fo r People. While the company works hard to bring on partners, they too share regular information about how to save water and understanding where leaks come from and how to fix them, ultimately encouraging the public to become People for Water. u   Understandably, it would be naive to imagine that the multiple challenges facing small municipalities will be solved quickly. Solutions need to be actioned and actioned quickly. Even after it was clearly noted that the irrigation organisers in the water user association needed to have a service level agreement with the municipality in place, this failed to be drafted and signed. A big part of ensuring that accurate data is recorded to fully understand the challenges at hand for the right decisions to be made and implemented, constitutes that research funding and activities need to continue. So, what do we do going forward? We need to maintain open dialogue with communities to ensure that the solutions really do solve their challenges and concerns. For example, in the Vukani suburb in the Makana Local Municipality, Eastern Cape, local residents partnered with Rhodes University to document water supply experiences. They were also included in outlining preferred solutions. It then became apparent that the community wanted 250ℓ water storage capacity (water tanks) in their homes, where they can control access and quality. They fill the tanks when there is water in the taps, and this capacity can see them through any water interruptions.     Overview of Vukani water shortages: 0% 0% 0% 0% 3% 0% 0% 1% Nomathamsanqa water shortages (N=90) Household Daily One to three Four to six categories times a week times a week RDP  7% 73% 13% Formal township 10% 77% 13% Informal 3% 77% 20% All - categories 7% 76% 15% (mean %) When examining the numbers in the local residential area of Nomathamsanqa, the community experienced serious water supply interruption:  The success of this will be in the collective action of us all. Water Sewage & Effluent May/June 2017 23