R71.8 million to address water challenges in drought-stricken Graaff-Reinet

R71.8 million to address water challenges in drought-stricken Graaff-Reinet

As the Department of Water and Sanitation continues with its mission to bring relief to drought-stricken areas in the Eastern Cape, an amount of R71.8 million has been allocated to address water challenges in Graaff-Reinet.

The fund allocation, through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG), will assist the Graaff-Reinet Emergency Bulk Supply Scheme in the Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipality.

The project consists of the upgrading of the ground water supply to the town of Graaff Reinet.

Departmental spokesperson Sputnik Ratau, said the funding allocation for the project was split over several financial years, starting in 2016 when the supply scheme project commenced.

Ratau said that Phase 1 of the Graaff Reinet Emergency Water Supply Scheme, which included the refurbishing and equipping of old boreholes, as well as the drilling of new boreholes, was completed in August 2020.

Phase 2 which is currently underway, consists of the construction of a new Umasizakhe pipeline (gravity and rising main) and bulk meter installation.

“Contractors also installed new collector pipelines between the boreholes and reservoir and constructed a 1.5Mℓ balancing reservoir in Northern Well Field, and a 315mm rising main from the Northern Borehole Well Field to the Water Treatment Works,” Ratau said.

Ratau called on the community of Graff-Reinet to protect the infrastructure and report any acts of vandalism to local authorities, as “further delays of the project means inadequate water supply for the community.”

“Infrastructure vandalism is a major setback in the second phase of the project,” he said.

He added that the development of an Integrated Water Use License Application (IWULA) is yet to be completed, while further equipping of new boreholes drilled in Camdeboo Park and cleaning of all sites continues. – SAnews