Villagers share water hole with baboons

Sizwe Sibiya

Twenty six years into democracy, residents of the village Ndumo in Mhlabuyalingana, KZN, still don’t have running water and electricity.

The village is situated next to famous game reserves with the ‘big five’ safari animals that are visited by tourists from all over the world.

But community members have to go through a forest full of baboons and snakes to get to the hole where they collect their water.

In a video shared on Twitter, an old woman Chilizile Tembe told 1KZN they have never had running water and electricity. The hole is their only access.

“We suffer because of this water issue. 

“The hole is too big and sometimes we find snakes there. 

“You find yourself falling into the hole if you try to run away from the snakes.

“In other places people get water tanks – but here you’ll never see that. They don’t care about us – not even the chief, the mayor or the councillors. They don’t even look at us.

“We wake up while it’s still dark. You have to come to collect water around 6 in the morning with four containers.”

The elderly, men, women and children of the village can be seen collecting water in the video filling 20 litre buckets one scoop at a time.

“You will go back home around 1 in the afternoon and if you have six water containers you will leave around 3.”

Chilizile said that even a 5-litre bucket takes a lot of time to fill with water from the hole.

“But they say we must vote,” she said.