Five villages in Tsomo, Eastern Cape, have been without water for three months now. They were to receive water from the Ncorha Bulk Water Project, which was launched in 2016. The estimated completion date for this project, however, will only be reached in 2020.

The Ncorha Bulk Water project will also cost R345-million to complete.

According to reports, the villages in the Chris Hani District Municipality – Gqogqorha, Emdeni, Mahlubini Komkhulu, Mnyangula and Mmangobomvu – are desperately awaiting the completion of the project. Water tankers are currently being brought in from the Intsika Yethu Local Municipality to ensure these villages have enough water to get by.

Speaking to GroundUp, municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mqamelo said the area’s existing boreholes have decreased dramatically. “Within the month of October pumps will be installed and bulk pipeline from the borehole to the reservoir will also be installed … This is a temporary arrangement since the area is running out of water,” she said.

Source: Yamkela Ntshongwana/GroundUp

According to Gqogqorha villagers, there is indeed a water tank in the village, but it has been dry for months now.

A total of 1 150 people make up the villages without water, and many of their residents are losing livestock to the drought. The livestock of 27 households have reportedly been declared dead due to starvation and dehydration.

Some villagers have become so desperate for water that they walk more than three kilometres each day to fetch water from a stream.

Picture: Yamkela Ntshongwana/GroundUp

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