Ms Shumani Davhana (right) does her washing at the hazardous river.

Mpheni residents complain of dirty, stinking water


The residents of Mpheni Block D2 and Vhutuwangadzebu in the Elim area expressed their dissatisfaction, alleging that the Vhembe District Municipality (VDM) had failed to provide them with water for years.

They are part of the people from the Elim area, including Waterval, who had marched to the Makhado Municipality some two years ago under Sanco, demanding service delivery.

Limpopo Mirror visited the spot under the bridge where residents did their washing and collected water for domestic use. The women said that there were three boreholes with plenty of water, but no water was being supplied to their part of the village.

“I push my wheelbarrow for about 3km to come to do my washing here,” said Ms Lizbeth Mahwayi (58). “The water smells of fresh faeces but once we sprinkle some washing powder and clothing-softener on our washing basins, it gets better.” Residents said that it would be a relief for them if the municipality could consider bringing water tankers to their place.

“We are unemployed and as such we cannot afford to buy water from our neighbours all the times,” Ms Shumani Davhana (33) said. “This water stinks and it sometimes causes us a rash after using it. And another problem is that people from Waterval also come here to dump bags of used nappies and other mess in the river, which makes it difficult for us to continue using water from this river for cooking and bathing in our homes.”

The spokesperson for VDM, Mr Matodzi Ralushai, said that officials would be sent to assess the situation. “If there are running boreholes and people are not getting water, then we need to look into the matter and find out the problem and see how best to address it,” he said. “That whole area, from Elim to Nthabalala, is currently experiencing a lack of water, due to some technical reasons and we hope to address them soon.”

However, Ralushai could not give a date when the water problem would be finally resolved or addressed for good. “Our officers need to visit the place first, and then we will know what needs to be done,” he said. “In cases where residents need tankers to bring them water, they must contact their ward councillor, who will then arrange for tankers.”


The nine-year-old Fulufhelo Ndou washes her school uniform in the dirty river.


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Date:02 September 2016 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho

Tshifhiwa Mukwevho

Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.



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