Residents living in Komga’s townships claim the Amathole District Municipality has not carted water to them in two months.
Instead, they have to walk long distances to beg for water at factories in town. Their taps ran dry in November.
ADM spokesperson Noni Madikizela-Vuso said the interruption in water supply was due to four burst pipes.
Frustrated residents said the municipality had turned a blind eye to their dire situation.
Anathi Fani, who moved back to Komga for the duration of her maternity leave, said being without consistent water supply for two months had made life difficult.
“There is just no water and we don’t know why. We’ve resorted to walking long distances to factories in town to beg for water as a way to survive. These factories are far, we walk for over 30 minutes just to get there and even then we stand in long queues because everyone flocks there,” she said.
Fani said they were frustrated as they did not know when the water would be restored.
“Right now our lives are in limbo and we’re living in unhygienic conditions. We’re just putting up with the situation because we don’t have a choice,” she said.
Another resident, Meliswa Guxya, said the municipality would warn them of water outages in the past, but this time they had remained tight-lipped. “Previously they would at least tell us what was happening and we would know that we would be without water.”
A local jojo tank supplier who asked to remain anonymous, said she felt compelled to help the residents even though it posed a risk to her job.
“People come to me in numbers to ask for water and I try to help them as much as I can, but there are those who simply can’t walk the distance.
“What must happen to them? It is such a disgrace that our municipality is not doing anything about it. It’s been going on for such a long time now.”
Madikizela-Vuso said the municipality had experienced challenges during the shutdown period over the festive season. “The current status is that four pipes burst in Kei River, which supplies Komga.
“As a result there have been water outages, but we have been sending relief into the town and in lower lying areas.
“One pipe has been fixed already, and we are still fixing the other pipes,” she said.