No water at Kadoma General Hospital

KADOMA - A sick man staggers, walking with difficulty aided by a stick as he labours to get to the hospital’s water tap within his ward.

He is thirsty and writhing in pain.

As he finally reaches the water tap, his mouth is so dry that his thirst for a drink overwhelms everything, even his sickness.

But to the man’s anguish and anger, he finds there is no water at the tap. He was not aware it has long been disconnected.

His only hope now lies with his family to bring him the precious liquid when they visit.

Such has become the daily life of patients at Kadoma General Hospital, which has gone for almost two years without running water.

During a recent visit at the hospital, the Daily News on Sunday witnessed the dire situation patients were facing.

Water to the wards has been disconnected. There is no running water for the whole health institution and even those readying for emergencies.

The scarcity of running water means relatives and friends have to bring water for patients so they can bath, relieve themselves and quench their thirst among other necessities.

A nurse who requested anonymity before referring questions to the hospital administrator told the Daily News on Sunday that she found the hospital with no water when she started work in 2012.

“I started work here at the end of 2012 but by that time there was little water and as times went on, the situation worsened,” she said.

“Most people bring water for their relatives because at the hospital it is only available at a tap near the staff quarters.”

The only borehole at the hospital pumps dirty water and officials have put a big sign warning people against drinking the water.

Some of the water reservoirs at the hospital have since stopped functioning because of the water crisis in the city.

Another nurse said the water crisis has hit the whole city. Since she started living in Kadoma four years ago, she has never accessed water on a tap.

“Here at the hospital, there are some wards near the staff quarters where there is water but in some wards the pipes are cut and it is disadvantaging the patients because they need water to take pills and medication,” she said.

The Kadoma Hospital administrator could not be reached for comment.

Residents in the city are relying on public boreholes drilled in 2008 by the United Nations (UN) while some travel long distances of three to five kilometres to access clean water.

Some people have dug wells at their houses and they charge 20 cents or R2 per 20-litre bucket.

The Kadoma Municipality has said it requires about $15 million to upgrade and rehabilitate its ageing water and sewage reticulation system.

To date, the city has recorded a high number of cases of typhoid amid fears the numbers could rise as residents are fetching water from unprotected sources.

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