Villagers from Intsika Yethu, Engcobo and Mnquma local municipalities will soon benefit from a R215m Tsomo River water abstraction and water treatment works project that was initiated by the Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) in 2016.
The project will relieve the water supply crisis for close to 5000 households in wards in Intsika Yethu, Engcobo and some areas under Mnquma.
The multi-million rand project has also benefited locally-based small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME) that were employed in the construction of buildings, road works, paving, gabions and reinforced steel fixing.
CHDM mayor Wongama Gela indicated that even the material for the project was sourced from suppliers residing in the CHDM area of jurisdiction.
“A total of 1 692 job opportunities were created for local people since the project began four years ago, with the recruitment of youth and women prevalent.
“This is a regional and cross-border bulk water supply project, sourcing water from an abstraction weir on the Tsomo River, in Tsomo town. The plan is to provide bulk water to areas in two local municipalities in CHDM and one local municipality falling under Amathole District Municipality (ADM), which is Mnquma. “
Gela said the water treatment works would supply bulk purified water to several municipal projects, that would in turn provide the resource to the households.
“Some of these projects have already been constructed and are ready to be supplied with purified water, while others are still under construction or in the planning stages. A total of 47 632 households will benefit from the project.”
Funding for the project, which is implemented by the CHDM, was sourced from the national department of water and sanitation through the regional bulk infrastructure grant as part of a cooperative initiative with ADM.
“The overall progress on the construction of the project is at 99%, with the project team having started the commissioning of functional components of the abstraction and water treatment works by testing if all components work together.
“The team on site is progressing well and is on track with major works of the project. There is still some work outstanding on the roads, storm-water drains, buildings and general finishing. Future phases of the project will extend the bulk supply to Xolobe, Mzomhle, Banzi and the Cluster 8 project in Engcobo. The project is expected to be finished by the end of the year and has significantly helped to stimulate economic growth in our area,” said the mayor.
The project has been implemented in phases due to its magnitude and most of the phases have been successfully completed, with only the last three remaining.
Phase 1 involved the bulk water supply from existing Section 9 Jojweni Reservoir, with capacity for extension to Amathole villages.
Phase 2 was the construction of a bulk pumping main, gravity pipeline and 2 megaliter reservoir connecting Tsomo Town to the Tsojana Southern Bulk.
Phase 3A was the river abstraction works and raw water pumps installation and phase 3B the construction of a water treatment works, highlift pump station and a 700mm diameter HDPe pipeline and associated works.Phase 3C involves the bulk pipeline from Tsojana Southern Bulk to Jojweni (including reservoir and pump station), a 1 megalitre command reservoir and a generator; phase 3D the construction of a bulk pipeline from Jojweni to Xolobe (including reservoir and pump station).
Phase 4 was the bulk distribution and bulk connection to Southern Bulk, Xolobe and Banzi
areas, Tsomo Town South, Mzomhle bulk line and reservoir.
And phase 5 the installation of the infrastructure required to supply bulk water to the Ngqamakhwe and Cluster 8 projects and the Ncora bulk release works.