By Keiso Mohloboli
MASERU –The Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO) pump-station along the Mohokare river was severely damaged on Monday this week, leaving several Maseru villages without water.
According to the company’s spokesperson Lineo Moqasa, the station—which is just below Lerotholi Polytechnic—was left a broken mess when the flooded river burst its banks following torrential rains which hit Maseru for hours on end.
“When the river bank caved-in, the water-pipes were filled with sand, which caused terrible breakages. Pipes which carry raw water from the river into the treatment plant were severely damaged, which means some residents of Maseru will be without water for several days,” said Moqasa.
The Lesotho Times understands WASCO is now depending on the Maqalika Station for Maseru water-supplies because another station at the Mohokare water-works, experienced similar problems last month and is yet to be repaired.
“We are still waiting for new pumps and pipes for it to start operating again,” Moqasa said.
Asked about the “dirty and smelly” water some Maseru residents have been receiving and complaining about over recent weeks, Moqasa said: “When looking at the water through the naked eye, it looks as if it is dirty but the fact is, it is treated and very safe.”
However, Moqasa said treating the water is “a real challenge”.
“People continue to throw waste into the river and that causes algae. The algae reacts to our treatment-chemicals and produces unclear water which appears dirty. But we would like to assure residents that the water is very safe and is not a health-hazard at all,” Moqasa said.
Meanwhile, WASCO has proposed a 35-percent increase in water charges which the Lesotho Water and Electricity Authority is still evaluating.