As drought hits bad on parts of the communities in the Free State, the Senekal community gets relief as their tap waters began to run again. The Senekal community had since December 14, been depending on water supply from water tankers; Farmers also had to reduce their output as a result of their boreholes running dry, but report reaching us from the Setsoto local municipality says that water now runs from various taps in the locality.
Confirming this fact, the Municipal manager Tshepiso Ramakarane said the river was filled to 80% of its capacity due to recent rain.
“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.
More to this, Mike Odendaal, from the local business forum said though the water isn’t yet enough, they are happy they received rainfall and that it was really helpful.
“Schools are now coping 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.
However, the municipality said it has resumed water restrictions since the taps began to run. This is to make sure that the water lasts a little longer pending the time they receive another rainfall. Hence, 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.
Speaking further, Ramakarane said the municipality would continue to send out more than 260 000 litres of water a day to residents using their tanker trucks. This means that each household would be receiving 50 litres per day. This is usually bought from the local farmers at 15 cents a litre.
However, since the start of drought in the municipality, the Senekal residents had complained that 50 litres a day was not nearly enough for a family pointing out the various areas they had to use the water for. Some even said they start queuing for water from 03:00 and sometimes waited in line for hours, with no sign of water trucks.