You Use Borehole Water? Municipality Provides Water Testing Service
…Water must be tested regularly in order to detect contaminants that can affect human health
Some citizens, including commercial establishments, prefer the use of borehole water for a number of reasons. By virtue of it coming directly from the ground, borehole water is not safe to drink unless tested. Moreover, since the water is often stored in a storage facility such as a water tank before consumption, it is important that the water supply be regularly tested by experts to ensure that it is consistent with safe drinking water standards. The water needs to be tested in a laboratory that is well equipped for such an exercise. When contaminated water is consumed it can cause a number of health effects such as gastrointestinal illnesses (e.g vomiting and diarrhoea) stomach aches, dehydration and even chronic diseases such as cancer. Self-testing is discouraged because the micro-organisms cannot be seen through the naked eye. The Municipal Council of Manzini has a laboratory, located within the civic premises, that provides water sampling and testing services for different water sources such as borehole, chlorinated water from Eswatini Water Services Corporation and raw water from streams and rivers. The service fee is E100 per sample. The service is open to anyone; even if they may not be resident in the City of Manzini. The Municipality advises that borehole water be tested at least once a month whilst for high consumption environments such as schools and business establishments the recommendation is once a week. Currently, an average of 15 private properties utilise the service every month and all of them are from outside the Manzini urban area.
The Municipality also conducts regular borehole water testing on at least eight schools within the urban area. Some business establishments also access the service. Other users of borehole water are encouraged to make use of this service for purposes of protecting the safety and health of those who consume the resource. The Municipality does not only test borehole water but also the rivers and streams within the city. The Municipality has at least 13 sampling points in all the rivers and streams within the city and testing happens fortnightly. It is important that the rivers and streams are tested in order to protect the health and safety of downstream consumers outside the urban area. When bacteria and other harmful micro-organisms are detected, an effort is made to sensitise suspected polluters against contaminating the natural resource. Citizens are urged to desist from polluting rivers and streams; not only for protection of human health but also the aquatic habitat. Through its laboratory, the Municipality also conducts food swab analysis on all food establishments in the city for purposes of ensuring that there is no existence of bacteria on cutlery, food preparation surfaces and hands of those tasked with food preparation. Food handling businesses are urged to ensure all food handlers regularly wash their hands, constantly soak dish clothes and thoroughly clean their cutlery using detergents. The municipal laboratory operates from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday; except on public holidays.
…DAILY COVID-19 VACCINATION/TESTING STATION AT COUNCIL PREMISES
The Municipal Council of Manzini, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and George Town University, provides Covid-19 vaccination and testing services within the Manzini civic premises. A vaccination and testing station is available on a daily basis at the parking lot near the Filter Clinic and it opens from 8am to 4pm; Monday to Friday. It is closed on weekends. The Covid-19 booster shot is also accessible from the station. Members of the public are encouraged to make use of the service which is accessible free of charge. Vaccination, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), provides strong protection against serious illness, hospitalisation and even death from the Coronavirus. The WHO explains that ‘’getting vaccinated is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself against Covid-19, help end the pandemic and stop new variants emerging’’. Those who are due for a booster shot are also encouraged to make it a point that they take the shot in order to strengthen their resilience to the virus. Members of the public are reminded that even though the stringent Covid-19 restrictions have been relaxed in the country, the virus still exists. Therefore, citizens – whether vaccinated or not – are urged to continue doing all they can to keep themselves and others healthy. Please continue keeping a safe distance from others and avoid crowds, properly wear a face mask; ensuring that you cover both the nose and mouth, keep indoor spaces well ventilated, wash hands regularly using soap and running water.
…TOWN PLANNING SCHEME MEETINGS TEMPORARILY PUT ON HOLD
Citizens of the City of Manzini and all other stakeholders are notified that the rollout of the Town Planning Scheme stakeholder consultation meetings has been temporarily put on hold due to unforeseen circumstances. Stakeholders will be informed of new dates for the meetings as soon as possible. The Municipality regrets any inconvenience that may be caused by the new development.