Government deals with Mpumalanga water issues

Pretoria - The Department of Water and Sanitation has made funding available for the refurbishment of waste water treatment works in Emakhazeni Local Municipality, Mpumalanga.

The department said the funding was made available through the Accelerated Community Infrastructure Programme (ACIP) to ensure that the waste water treatment works in the municipality are restored to optimal functionality and comply with the set standards.

“The refurbishment projects are also meant to prevent the pollution of water resources by non-compliant effluent. The contractors appointed to refurbish waste water treatment works in Waterval Boven and Machadodorp in Emakhazeni were officially handed over to the communities by the department and the Executive Council of Emakhazeni led by Mayor XS Ngwenya in sod turning ceremonies on Thursday,” said the department.

The department said the contractor for the Belfast waste water treatment works will be handed over on Monday.

“The department was alerted of waste water management challenges in the towns of Belfast, Waterval Boven and Machadodorp located within Emakhazeni under the Nkangala District Municipality.”

The nature of the challenges poses a risk to the environment and water resources. The communities have welcomed the projects.

The department’s Doctor Makhubele pledged the department’s support to the municipality to ensure that the waste water treatment plants are compliant. He also encouraged the community to conserve water, especially as the country approaches winter and the country is facing severe drought.

South African Youth Water Prize (SAYWP) competition

Meanwhile, high school learners in Mpumalanga will showcase their innovation and solutions to water challenges in the province during the South African Youth Water Prize (SAYWP) provincial competition.

The competition will be held on Monday at Nelsville Community Hall in Mbombela.

The department seeks to enhance the interest of learners in water and sanitation related careers and address the skills shortage challenge in the country through this competition.

The SAYWP competition encourages learners to identify water and sanitation related problems in their schools or communities, conduct research, recommend and implement solutions. This requires the learners to be innovative to come up with workable solutions.

Provincial winners will represent their province in the national competition and compete against winners from the other provinces for the ultimate prize of a fully paid trip with Minister Nomvula Mokonyane to represent the country at the Stockholm Youth Water Prize.

Other prizes include bursaries to pursue water and sanitation related careers.