Ululations in the expression of joy sounded out as Lepelle Northern Water (LNW) launched a first-of-a-kind sand water extraction project at Skhiming Village in the Mopani District on Friday.
The much anticipated cutting of a bright red ribbon by Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu signified the roll-out of a project granting access to a resource seen to be bringing great relief to the people of Skhiming and adjacent Kuranta Village at a time of heightened drought in a water-scarce South Africa.
LNW was appointed by the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation to put to the test and demonstrate the feasibility of Sand Water Extraction Technology as a means to relieve the effects of drought, done in conjunction with Empowering Water Solutions.
Positioned on the edge of the dry Molototsi River, the plant serves as reminder of intervention through technology aimed at solving the water shortages in the affected area. The project will benefit 1 763 households in Skhiming Village within the Greater Giyani Local municipal area and a further 1 329 households in Kuranta Village within the Greater Letaba municipal area. At the time of the commissioning of the project in April this year, only two out of four boreholes supplying Skhiming Village were operational while the water did not reach the entire settlement. In Kuranta two functional boreholes were relied on for water provision.
In her address at the launch event Minister Sisulu, introduced by Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs MEC Basikopo Makamu on behalf of Premier Stan Mathabatha, congratulated those charged with the responsibility of bringing the project to life and urged the recipients of the infrastructure to take care of the resource. She expressed the view that the project was a solution for all villages in a similar situation and the hope that it could be extended elsewhere.
She simultaneously thanked LNW Board Chairperson Joe Mathebula for the leadership shown and the acting Chief Executive of LNW, Mr Ahuiwi Netshidaulu for his efforts.
In his speech Mr Mathebula indicated that the community has expressed satisfaction with LNW’s endeavours and that the project should be duplicated in other villages.
Prior to the late afternoon launch event the Minister, accompanied by Messrs Mathebula and Netshidaulu, arrived from Thohoyandou for engagements with stakeholders on the Giyani Drought Relief Project to ensure outstanding issues get resolved and the project is back on track.
Text and photographs by Yolande Nel