Babanango natural spring to benefit thousands of residents in KZN

Monday, May 20, 2024

Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, says the department is in a process of transforming water spewing from the natural spring in Babanango to a quality drinkable water that will benefit more than 250 000 households in Zululand and uMzinyathi District Municipalities. 

The Minister said this is part of the department’s effort to diversify South Africa's water resource mix for water security. 

Mchunu launched the Babanango/Inhlengile Spring Water Project during an inspection site visit to the project at Ulundi Local Municipality.

The Babanango Water Spring Project is part of the emergency upgrade of the Babanango/Inhlengile Communal Water Supply Scheme undertaken by uMngeni-uThukela Water as the implementing agent. 

It is a cross-boundary water project supplying water to the District Municipalities of Zululand and uMzinyathi.

Due to the sporadic water supply from their taps' water supply shortage in the area, the community of Inhlengile, under Inkosi Mahlobo Ntobela discovered the water springs that could be developed and be used for communal water supply in Babanango. 

This prompted their traditional leader, Inkosi Ntobela to request the department’s intervention on the discovered water springs. 

The department conducted scientific tests on the spring water which revealed that the spring water contained elements that were not suitable for human consumption. 

The department then appointed uMngeni-uThukela Water as the Implementing Agent to upgrade the spring water project initiated by the community. 

A contractor was appointed by the water entity which has commenced with construction work to improve the quality of the spring water. 

Mchunu said the Babanango/Inhlengile Water project is now at 70% complete and will produce about 0.5 megalitres of purified water from the spring to benefit the communities of the two districts. 

He said part of the work includes the construction of a water treatment works and a packaging plant which will purify the spring water to be able to provide clean drinking water supply complies with SANS 241 [drinking water specification that states the minimum requirements for potable water to be considered safe for human consumption].

“From the water treatment works and the packing plant, purified water will then be transferred by a 6 kilometres pipeline to a 500-kilolitre water storage tank, which will supply freshwater to the communities,” Mchunu explained.

Mchunu said the project will bring a much-needed relief of water supply not only to the area of Inhlengile in Babanango, but also to the communities in both the Zululand and uMzinyathi District Municipalities. 

The Minister also noted that the water resource project is more sustainable and more reliable than water supply by means of water tinkering, and from the boreholes.

“This is part of our core business of water resource management because water that is received from the natural spring in this area will be processed to the required standards. It is our duty as the Department of Water and Sanitation to develop and maintain such resources so that they benefit the people and the generations to come,” Mchunu said.

“As the department we are also advancing the Sustainable Development Goal 6 established by the United Nations General Assembly in ensuring that we provide clean water and sanitation for all,” Mchunu said.

The Minister said the communities of the two districts are expected to receive freshwater supply harvested from the natural springs by end of July this year. –