November 23, 2020

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Sibaya Community Trust invests in ground-breaking home water treatment plant in rural KZN

Families living in rural communities within the iLembe District Municipality will soon have the basic right to safe drinking water in the comfort of their own homes as a result of an initiative by the Sibaya Community Trust.

By: Staff Writer

The pilot project rollout, at a cost of R850 000 of which Sibaya Community Trust is investing 100%, will happen in the next six to eight weeks, and see 100 families living in rural parts of Maphumuloand other areas become recipients of the Amanzi eKhaya, a home water treatment plant. “The Amanzi eKhaya was designed with the country’s rural areas in mind, where little or no services are provided or communities are too far from current infrastructures,” said Vivian Reddy, Sibaya Community Trust Chairman.

Reddy said the decision to get on board with the innovative project was based on the fact that there were many communities who experienced great difficulty getting to the current limited infrastructure for safe drinking water in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

“Sibaya Community Trust is committed to making a difference in the lives of the underprivileged and we are happy to fund this pilot project of 100 Amanzi eKhaya plants, partnering with the iLembe District Municipality and E LET to improve and transform lives,” said Reddy.

Environment and Language Education Trust (E LET) is Sibaya Community Trust’s service provider who will be responsible for conceptualising, developing and installing the water plants.

While government has made great strides in supplying clean and safe drinking water to millions of people since 1994, there are still many homes without treated drinking water. These are usually the poorest of the poor living in rural areas. “These people, usually women, walk long distances to fetch water from rivers, streams and dams for their families. In many cases this water is rarely treated for drinking purposes which results in the spread of water borne diseases such as dysentery, gastroenteritis and cholera among others.”

The Amazi eKhaya was conceptualised with South Africa’s rural communities in mind. “Careful and strategic research and development went into the design, structure and shape of the plant to allow for ease of transportation, handling, operation and cost-effectiveness to make the plant sustainable and ideal for South Africa’s rural communities,” said Nareshini Ranganthan, Director at ELET.

“We were very impressed by the Amanzi eKhaya ergonomic design, which is designed especially for South Africa’s unique rural community dynamic as well as the great response the plant has received from local Councillors, the Water Quality Manager and Municipal Manager in the iLembe District Municipality. We cannot wait for the pilot project to begin and hope to roll it out in other areas in need.”

The project has a grassroots approach with a shared global vision towards sustainable development for all, in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal of Clean Water and Sanitation for all. The Amanzi eKhaya is a decentralised water treatment system that provides clean and low-cost drinkable water to families in marginalised rural communities with no access or difficulty accessing current infrastructure.

Communities in iLembe were identified for the pilot after liaising with the District Municipality and conducting tests in the Tugela and Mvoti rivers. The recipients will be trained to operate the sustainable, innovative and easy-to-use plant that will see their lives and health improved with the introduction of Amanzi eKhaya to their homes.

The powerful compact home treatment plant boasts a double filtration system that removes contaminants from raw water to produce that which is clean and safe for human consumption. It works ideally with the current method of water collection in rural areas, in 25 litre containers at local sources such as rivers, streams and dams.

Incorporating all five of the conventional processes of a water treatment plant – flocculation, coagulation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection – it can treat 50 litres of water in under an hour.

“The Amazi eKhaya home purification plant is designed for rural areas and as ILembe comprises of a large section of rural areas, this purification plant is seen to be ideal to alleviate some of our water challenges in these areas,” said Honourable Mayor of iLembe District, Siduduzo Siegfried.

I am grateful to the Sibaya Community Trust for their generous donation that has seen the manufacture, supply and installation of the home purification plant that benefits families within our community and addresses the basic human right of access to clean, drinkable water.”

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