Forty water tanks have been distributed to 11 needy schools in the City of Tshwane in a bid to protect learners against the spread of Coronavirus.
Learners in Grade 7 and 12 across the country returned to school on Monday, two months after the country went into lockdown to prevent the transmission of the disease and to flatten the curve.
The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) said 36 water tanks have been distributed to nine schools in Hammanskraal, while four tanks were distributed to two schools in Sokhulumi in the City of Tshwane.
“The nine schools are in areas that have been identified as hotspots in Hammanskraal, and therefore are required to increase their safety measures by supplying water tanks. Each school in Hammanskraal benefited from four 2 500-litre water tanks, while in Sokhulumi, the two schools each received two 5 000-litre water tanks,” the department’s Gauteng Provincial Head, Sibusiso Mthembu, said on Friday.
Mthembu said the provision of the water tanks to the 11 schools will go a long way towards ensuring that the schools are better prepared to resume teaching and learning, and that both learners and staff are sufficiently protected in the midst of the spread of COVID-19.
He warned that the lack of adequate access to water at schools would be detrimental.
“Hammanskraal is one of the areas with ongoing water challenges and this necessitated that it receives specific focus, especially as schools have reopened. We are acutely aware of the need to provide adequate water supply to schools, especially in areas that have water challenges.
“One of the ways to prevent the spread of Coronavirus is to make sure the challenge of water shortages at schools is swiftly addressed. Learners have lost so much time and must catch up as fast as possible. There is no need to burden them with issues of water shortages,” Mthembu said.
He called on other stakeholders in the water sector to extend a helping hand so that no school is left without all the necessary requirements to ensure the smooth resumption and continuation of learning and teaching.
“Education is one area of our important enterprises and therefore requires everyone to play a role. The provision of water for learners to wash their hands regularly is but one of the necessities needed for learners to catch up on their studies,” Mthembu said.