Residents of Tambo informal settlement in Senekal in the Free State start queuing for water from 03:00 every morning. The town has not had running water since December 14.
There are many towns in South Africa that face the same fate due to the current drought – the worst to hit the country since the 1980’s.
260 000 litres of water a day is being sent to Senekal and made available at the water station provided by the municipality. This equated to 50 litres per household per day.
“We are suffering here and it is not nice anymore. Since this morning, I haven’t eaten or even bathed. That is how bad it is in Senekal right now,” said resident Suzan Motsoane.
“We are fighting here every day for water and although the municipality is offering us 50 litres a day, it is just not enough,” she said.
Another resident, Nkomo Matshidisi, 58, agreed. “The municipality should really try to increase the amount of water that they are providing for us. I am taking care of my mother who has to take medication everyday and now because there is no water, it becomes a problem,” she said.
Farmers with boreholes had been asked to help provide water, and were being paid 4c per litre, which excluded transport costs.