Universitas, Pelonomi postpones some surgeries due to water crisis

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Water drop falling from an old tap

Two of the Free State’s biggest hospitals have been forced to postpone some surgeries as Bloemfontein’s water supply issues continue into its second week.

OFM News reports, the Universitas and Pelonomi Hospitals in Bloemfontein have been forced to ration the use of water that was available in the hospitals’ reservoirs. Free State Health Department spokesperson, Mondli Mvambi, says these hospital reservoirs are now under pressure, in the wake of week-long interruptions in the city. The facilities are now forced to only perform high-risk and life threatening surgeries – postponing others.

“Water is a source of all life and its importance is often underplayed. In the context of health, water plays a vital role in ensuring infection prevention because you have to keep all clinical environments sterile,” says Mvambi.

The Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality is supplying water tankers to areas affected by recent water supply interruptions. Mangaung’s Mayor, Mxolisi Siyonzana, says in a statement that he has been engaging with Bloem Water’s board and he has been assured that they are doing everything they can to remedy the situation.

The water board is still busy with emergency repairs at the Welbedacht Dam. It is here that a Bloem Water employee died this weekend. OFM News reported that it was not clear if there was a link between the burst pipe reported at the dam on Sunday and the death of the employee.

It is unknown at this stage when the water supply will be restored to affected areas. These affected suburbs are Lourierpark, Fauna, Pellissier, Bayswater, Pentagon Park, Heuwelsig, Westdene and parts of the city’s central business district (CBD).

The Pellissier suburb and surrounding areas were the first to be affected at the top of the workweek when the Welbedacht pipeline underwent maintenance which left the Brandkop reservoir empty, and residents without water.

OFM News/Olebogeng Motse