South Africa: Port Elizabeth Lockdown Starts With Queues for Water

analysis

Lockdown in Port Elizabeth began with long queues for water as a bulk supply pipe failed leaving several neighbourhoods without water since Wednesday 25 March. While teams of technicians fixed the problem before lockdown started, taps ran dry as reservoirs were slowly drained.

It was a dry start to the nationwide lockdown as queues formed as tankers began distributing water to the affected areas.

Metro spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki said people were allowed to go get water, but were warned to practice social distancing between each other as they await their turn. On Wednesday however, when the problem started, crowds of people from the informal settlement in Kuyga descended on water tankers dispatched to the area.

"Immediately after getting water, residents were warned to go back to their homes and observe the lockdown," Mniki said.

He confirmed that 10 water tankers had to be deployed to provide water.

Mniki said the pipe that collapsed was a 700mm bulk water pipeline that supplied major supply reservoirs into the city. The pipe failed on Wednesday evening.

"Repair teams have successfully repaired the main pipeline and this morning water has been switched back," he said.

The major water outage followed one in Uitenhage...

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