By Kaya 959 News
The SA Human Rights Commission held a meeting on Wednesday with Gauteng hospital and City water officials to find a lasting solution to end the ongoing water crisis affecting some state hospitals in the province.
Humanitarian group Gift of the Givers has also come to the aid of the hospitals affected by the water shortage.
They have set about drilling at the Rahima Moosa Mother & Child Hospital where specialists are hoping to assist in alleviating the burden on the hospital.
On Sunday, a power failure at Rand Water left the City of Johannesburg, Rand West Local Municipality, Merafong City Local Municipality and Mogale City Local Municipality without water.
The Gauteng Department of Health said this led to reservoirs running low and affecting the water supply to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic and Leratong hospitals.
“The ongoing water disruptions at Brixton, Crosby and Hursthill affected the water supply to the Helen Joseph Hospital and Rahima Moosa Mother & Child Hospital,” the department said.
Water tanks dispatched
The department said over the last week, engagements have taken place with a number of stakeholders to find a lasting solution.
As an interim measure, water tankers were dispatched to the affected medical facilities.
“Since last week, the management of RHMMCH and JHJ attempted to alleviate some of the pressure from two worse affected facilities by transferring out some of the patients to other hospitals and also performing some of their theatre operations at sister hospitals,” the department said.
Gift of the Givers founder, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman said Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital is in crisis and so is the community around it.
“Water delivery to the hospital and to the region has shutdown inexplicably with no clear explanation from the relevant water authority as to the cause of the problem,” GOTG founder, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman said.
He said according to RHMMCH CEO, it was initially thought that the disruption was due to the power failure however, it seems that ageing water infrastructure is the challenge.
“The crisis couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time with rapidly rising Covid-19 numbers and the province in the third wave. Rahima Moosa Mother & Child Hospital is one of the feeder hospitals for the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital and healthcare workers are playing catch up with non-Covid-related cases,” he said.
Staff reach out to GOTG
Sooliman said desperate residents were going to the hospital for water.
“Gift of the Givers were approached by hospital staff and management requesting bottled water, portable toilets and any practical assistance to augment the water tankers arriving daily. Having delivered bottled water last week, our teams set to begin drilling for water.
“Our geologist, Dr Gideon Groenewald, has identified the drilling site. Existing, defunct boreholes will be assessed with a view to resuscitate them whilst drilling for new boreholes then pumping water directly into the hospital infrastructure using booster pumps and setting up taps outside the hospital for community usage once the water has been tested and approved for human consumption,” he said.
Sooliman said bottled water from companies will be welcome whilst awaiting successful drilling, yield testing and laboratory water tests.
Helen Joseph Hospital limits admissions
Meanwhile, management at Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg have had to limit their hospital admissions due to a huge water shortage at the facility.
Officials have outlined to the South African Human Rights Commission what they’ve been doing to manage the water crisis on its premises.
Hospital management, representatives from Joburg and Rand Water along with other key officials met with the commission on Wednesday.
The visit follows yesterday’s discussions at Charlotte Maxeke hospital, which had sections of its building destroyed by a massive fire in April.