World Bulletin/News Desk
Water has slowly began flowing again through the taps of homes in Senegal's several Dakar neighborhoods following an acute, almost three-week-long shortage of drinking water.
"At least there has been water since last night," El Hadj Abdoulaye Fall, an elderly Dakar resident, told Anadolu Agency early on Tuesday as he emerged from a mosque.
"It was coming slowly, but we arranged to get as much as we could," he added. "Even this morning, taps were still functioning."
Since September 12, an acute water shortage caused by damage to a main water pipeline has forced thousands of Senegalese to roam the capital's streets with jerkins, buckets and bottles seeking water for their families.
Long lines of people, who can't afford bottled water, have recently been seen across Dakar near makeshift wells and water trucks.
Many of them complain of having to walk long distances to obtain drinking water.
Officials have blamed the shortage on damage to the capital's main water pipeline in Keur Momar Sarr, a small northern locality roughly 200km from Dakar.
The government has scrambled to provide makeshift solutions to the crisis by setting up army-supervised water distribution points in areas where water trucks are present.
The apparent return of drinking water was a source of jubilation for Dakar residents.
"Last night there was a party in our house when my 12-year-old daughter accidently opened the tap and realized water had come back," Khadidia Aw, a married woman living in Dakar's HLM Grand Yoff neighborhood, told AA.
"We surrounded the tap with our jerkins thanking God, dancing and laughing," she added.
Officials at state-run water agency SDE have confirmed that the water-treatment plant in Keur Momar Sarr became operational again on late Monday.
SDE General Director Mamadou Dia was quoted by the agency as saying that the development would gradually bring the water shortage in Dakar – and in outlying suburbs – to an end.
The SDE had earlier set a Wednesday deadline to begin pumping drinking water.
Visiting the site on Saturday with his prime minister, President Macky Sall said the government would pay this month's water bills for all citizens affected by the crisis.Last Mod: 01 Ekim 2013, 15:59