22 March marked World Water Day yet water stressed communities from the Eastern Cape had little to celebrate.

More than one year has passed since a national state of disaster was declared due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and communities across the country are still unable to access water.  This shockingly dire situation persists in spite of the prevailing health emergency and the numerous attempts and pleas by civil society organisations for urgent government intervention.

The lack of access to water in parts of the Eastern Cape has reached crisis proportions.

The situation in the Eastern Cape worsened as the months went by. The Centre for Environmental Rights (CER), as a member of South African Water Caucus (SAWC), working with Eastern Cape based organisations Afesis Corplan and Masifundise, attempted to engage with local authorities around the water access crisis facing communities, some of whom have been without regular water access for years.

“We have done all we can to engage with government, provide them with opportunities to respond and give them information on the water crisis facing communities in the Eastern Cape. With Covid-19 cases rising in the province, we can no longer wait and are now demanding that urgent action be taken by all those responsible for water provision or bulk water provision or we will consider litigious proceedings,” said Naseegh Jaffer of Masifundise.

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