Municipal councillors and workers responsible for the provision of water and sanitation will be among those exempted from the nationwide lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday evening. This was confirmed by the Limpopo Government spokesperson Kenneth Mathivha on Tuesday while outlining the readiness of the province to deal with the new developments.

Mathivha also said that councillors, led by their mayors, were locked in marathon meetings on Tuesday to ensure that communities do not run short of water during the lockdown period because it is one of the essential components for fighting the disease. Citizens are urged to wash their hands for twenty seconds frequently which would demand more water in areas where water had for long been a luxury.

“The mayors and the municipalities were ordered by the premier and the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) to provide the citizens with water through the tanker system. Even at far flung places such as Mtititi and other areas, there are tankers which would be sent out to provide people with water.”

This comes at the time the government is gearing to take awareness campaigns to rural communities after meetings between the presidency, the minister of health and Cogta. Deputy President, David Mubuza said that the Covid-19 problem had been detected in urban areas and it would not be long before the disease made its way into the vulnerable rural villages.

Rural areas are stastically more vulnerable to a serious outbreak of any disease because of the lack of proper health care in those areas. Residents of villages very seldom have access to running water, use pit toilets and live in very close proximity to one another. Most of these impoverished communities have large households of up to 10 people living in two-room houses. Under these circumstances, diseases such as Covid-19 will spread with ease and will not be easily contained.

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