The upcoming summer season is the time to relax, go on holidays and even entertain ourselves near local dams. It is also the time where swimming is the main delight; unfortunately our society does not have the swimming skills and even if they have, they indulge in unsafe practices of swimming under the influence of alcohol.

But as harmless as the water may seem, water is dangerous if we do not take necessary precautions. Children and adults always swim innocently in the water for fun; whether in rivers, dams and even in swimming pools, forgetting that dirty water can harm their health and endanger their lives. People especially children drown in water bodies attempting to cross bridges and swimming mostly in unfamiliar areas.

It is crucial to pay attention to safety tips especially in canals which are ignorantly perceived as harmless. Please do not remove signage of safety rules near the water bodies, especially near canals. Always read them as they can save your life. Many people especially children have lost their lives in canals because they assume that they are safe. Did you know that the sides of canals are steep and slick making it impossible to climb out once inside?

Our society should stay away from rivers and dams and should not drink, swim, fish, and even throw rubbish in them. This applies to children as well. Drinking polluted water is harmful to our health and this can lead us to contracting water borne infections. It is extremely important that you report the dumping of rubbish in our rivers, dams and canals to the Department of Water and Sanitation’s toll free number 0800 200 200.

It is time to change our behaviour towards water. If we can all respect water, it will in turn respect us.

Katlego Bolokang is the Communication officer of the Department of Water and Sanitation

Ms Katlego Bolokang
Assistant Director : Communications
Department of Water and Sanitation: North West Provincial Office
Cnr Dr. James Moroka Drive and Sekame Road,
Unit no. 99, Ground Floor, Megacity Shopping Centre,
Private Bag X5, Mmabatho, 2735
Tel: 018 387 9500/9561