Africa-Press – South-Africa. Workers at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital have to bring their own water to work because the taps have run dry.
This is one of the hospitals affected by water shortages in Johannesburg.
On Sunday, Rand Water, which cleans and supplies bulk water, and Johannesburg Water, which purchases bulk water and distributes it to residents, issued a joint statement that blamed high consumption by residents for the lack of water.
The entities said that, if residents did not reduce their consumption, the infrastructure could collapse, which could mean days without water.
On Tuesday, News24 visited Rahima Moosa and Helen Joseph hospitals.
At Rahima, pregnant women could be seen walking to the other side of the hospital to use the toilets because there was no water in the section they were at.
In the corridor leading to occupational therapy and physiotherapy, there were 10-litre plastic water bottles filled with water.
A pregnant woman, who asked not to be named, said she had gone to the hospital for a check-up.
“I have been going up and down to the other side as we were told the toilets were not working because there was no water. Some patients came with water bottles. Unfortunately, I did not know, so I have been drinking water from the toilet sink on the other side,” she said.
Two workers told News24 they had to bring water bottles.
The workers said:
They said trucks delivered water to the hospital, but that did not cover the whole facility.
A security guard at Helen Joseph said the water supply was stable.
“On weekends, it becomes a problem. I don’t know what is causing that,” he said.
However, the hospital’s water does not only benefit staff members and patients. A man was seen filling a wheelie bin with water. When asked what it was for, he said it was for a car wash near the hospital.
The DA’s Jack Bloom said the water cuts affecting the hospitals highlighted the urgent need for water resilience measures in Gauteng’s public health facilities.
“Hospitals should never run out of water because it increases the risk of infection and disease. With the latest water cuts, the toilets became smelly, and relatives had to bring in water when visiting their loved ones,” he said.
Gauteng’s health department spokesperson, Motalatale Modiba, said the water supply to three of the hospitals in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni had stabilised over the weekend, even though the supply problem was not entirely resolved.
“Water supply at Rahima Moosa Hospital is still intermittent, and the facility relies on roving water tankers from Joburg Water and its borehole,” he said.
Modiba said another facility hit by water shortage was Pholosong Hospital in Ekurhuleni.
“The facility is not yet receiving full water pressure, and the City of Ekurhuleni has since deployed roving water tankers to augment the supply from service providers directly contracted by the hospital,” he said.
He said Helen Joseph Hospital had good water pressure as the facility was fed from an alternative line through the Brixton tower.
“The situation improved over the weekend after the facility experienced challenges in the past week, where water tankers had to be deployed.