water basinSoon residents in villages bordering on the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga won’t have to illegally cross into the park to get water. The Bushbuckridge municipality has been allocated R8,1 million to help alleviate water shortages in the area.  

Sylvia Nxumalo, executive mayor of the municipality, said that the funds would be used for the construction of a water purification plant and a water reticulation network.

She added that water will be sourced from the Sabie River and that the Kruger National Park was on board to help with the construction of the project.

Villagers exposed to threats at Sabie River

Villagers who fetched water from the Sabie River are exposed to the danger of crocodiles, William Mabasa, Kruger National Park spokesperson said.

He added that majority of the residents who worked at the park were from the surrounding villages of Cork, Belfast and Thulani, and that in some cases, residents would illegally cross into the park to draw water from the river. This put residents at risk from the wild animals in the park.

Construction already underway

Nxumalo told media that construction was already underway, however they are still waiting for connections to two main reservoirs as well as the construction of the water purification package plant.

She indicated that the project would be completed before the end of June this year.

Mabasa said several boreholes will also be drilled in the villages of Cork and Belfast, however the number was still being discussed.

He added that the funding for these boreholes was going to come from the park’s social responsibility funds.

Nxumalo said that the infrastructure is expected to serve as a long-term solution to water shortages in the surrounding villages.