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Crocodiles force folk to buy water

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By JOSEPH ZULU - SWAZI TIMES-14-Sep-2009

MAPHIVENI – Residents are now forced to buy water and stop collecting it from a nearby river after a girl was almost killed by a crocodile.

This was after Phindile Dlamini had gone to draw water at the crocodile infested Mbuluzi River in the company of her older sister. The 19 year old Phindile said had it not been for her sister, who dragged her out of the water, she would have died. She said the animal first splashed water onto her before attempting to bite into her.

“We pay about E50 for a 1 000 litre container from a local businessman,” said a man who preferred anonymity. He said the businessman fetches the water with his vehicle and then sells it to residents.

He said most of the people who fetched water were children and women, who were more likely to be attacked by the crocodiles and in some cases even snakes. Residents demanded that tanks be brought to the area to assist them so that they could have the basic commodity. They argued that with proper arrangement, water could be pumped from the river and taken much closer to the residents.

One of the community elders, Stephen Mdluli said there was nothing they could do to correct the situation and that only government could assist to change the situation. The community said they did not have a problem with water from the river but that their only problem was that they were terrified of the crocodiles.

“Every year, at least three people are killed by the animals. People are even scared to plant near the dams because of the crocodiles,” said a resident. Though the Mbuluzi River is set to supply water to most parts of the region, including Siteki, people that live close to the river are afraid to make use of it.


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