Limpopo schools get 431 water tankers at schools

It is only a week before the phasing in of Grade 8 and 9 pupils in schools after the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown and the installation of water tankers in Limpopo schools is already in full swing. By noon on Friday, several schools had received and installed water tankers. The move is aimed at flattening the Covid-19 curve as half of the school population embark on a programme of accelerated learning and teaching after the lockdown interval that began in March this year. The department of water and sanitation, led by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, reported last week that 431 water tanks...
It is only a week before the phasing in of Grade 8 and 9 pupils in schools after the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown and the installation of water tankers in Limpopo schools is already in full swing.

By noon on Friday, several schools had received and installed water tankers. The move is aimed at flattening the Covid-19 curve as half of the school population embark on a programme of accelerated learning and teaching after the lockdown interval that began in March this year.

The department of water and sanitation, led by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, reported last week that 431 water tanks had been delivered. This covered most of the schools which had chronic water shortages.

The minister said that of the 431, about 253 had been installed and were in use. Department spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau said his department has partnered with the department of basic education and Rand Water to ensure no school was without water as the country intensified its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"Both the departments entered into an implementation protocol agreement for the supply of water tanks to schools across the country.

"Some schools that have benefited are in Vhembe District, Giyani, Tzaneen, Maruleng, Ba-Phalaborwa, and Greater Letaba Municipalities. Water trucks have also been dispatched to refill the tanks regularly so pupils and teachers have uninterrupted water supply.

"This is in line with the government's resolve to ensure that everyone has access to clean and reliable water and to keep up with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation. This is to create an enabling environment for pupils and teachers to regularly wash their hands with soap and reduce the spread of the virus," said Ratau.

He said his department would ensure water trucks drew water from different treatment works and boreholes across the province to refill the installed tanks at periodic intervals.

He said the minister appealed to communities to take care of the tanks provided to schools and report theft or destruction of the tanks.

He also said the minister reminded communities to continue to practise restraint when using water as South Africa is a water-scarce country.

"We encourage people to practise the culture of washing their hands regularly, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, but let us also use water prudently."

However, the Democratic Alliance (DA) accused the department's implementing agent, Rand Water, of delivering tanks that were below standard, allegedly resulting in many cracking or breaking.

DA MP Leon Basson said the party wanted the department to clarify to parliament's portfolio committee on water and sanitation what the procurement process was regarding the R600 million tender awarded to Rand Water to supply water tanks to schools across the country.

"The DA has received numerous complaints that schools have not received water tanks, or that the tanks received were of such poor quality that they collapsed/\r\n/
when filled with water," said Basson.

alexm@citizen.co.za

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