As drought continues to grip the Eastern Cape, many residents are starting to feel the pinch as BCM enacts increasingly stricter water restrictions. Some communities, however, are being hit harder than others.
One such community is Reeston, whose residents have to put up with the twin problems of restrictions as well as crumbling infrastructure.
The GO! & Express met with DA councillor Bill Gould who explained how the geography of Reeston has led to an unequal distribution of water. The suburb is built on a slope so those who live at the top are often left wanting due to low pressure.
“When the water’s restricted, [the top] lose out even if [the bottom] gets to keep their water,” said Gould.
In addition, infrastructure is often faulty, leading to water continuously being shut off.
Reeston resident Nteto Lawrence said the area had been without water “since last week” with the municipality providing no response as to when it will return.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. According to Gould, a pipe feeding into the nearby reservoir broke down two weeks ago which meant the water had to be shut off for a number of days to enable repairs.
“When it was fixed, I was told that the water supply would be returned. However, it wasn’t,” he said.
It was later discovered that the taps allowing water to flow into the reservoir had been turned off.
Gould said that Reeston, as well as BCM in general, is in serious need of an infrastructure upgrade to ensure that residents have proper access to water.
As the drought continues, areas like Reeston are only going to suffer more from the dwindling supply of clean water.
“Bridle Drift Dam is now at 40% which means we should be going on to Stage 3 water restrictions soon,” said Gould.
He also predicted that without significant rainfall in the catchment area, Bridle Drift could run completely dry by June next year.
“If it doesn’t rain, we’ll have a critical situation is six months’ time,” Gould warned.