The recent cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal in the Gauteng province, as well as in Limpopo and the Free State resulting in the tragic loss of 23 lives, serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of reliable water infrastructure.“Access to clean and safe water is a fundamental human right, and a robust water infrastructure is vital in preventing the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera. In this regard, the Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA) has been at the forefront of ensuring the use of quality pipes and pipe infrastructure to safeguard public health and prevent such outbreaks”, explains Jan Venter, CEO of SAPPMA.
The Threat of Cholera OutbreaksCholera is a highly infectious waterborne disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It spreads rapidly in areas with inadequate sanitation and poor water supply. Contaminated water sources and unhygienic sanitation facilities create a breeding ground for the disease. Once infected, individuals experience severe diarrhoea and vomiting, leading to dehydration and, if left untreated, death within a matter of hours. As the death toll and reported cholera cases continue to rise, many residents are blaming the government for a lack of clean water for drinking and other household uses. “This dire situation once again highlights the urgent need to prioritize reliable water infrastructure to prevent future outbreaks,” Venter stresses.
The Role of Reliable Water InfrastructureReliable water infrastructure encompasses a range of components, including pipes, treatment plants, distribution networks, and sanitation systems. High-quality pipes play a pivotal role in ensuring the safe and efficient conveyance of water from its source to communities. By using durable and well-maintained pipes, the risk of pipe bursts, leaks, and contamination is significantly reduced, thereby safeguarding public health.
SAPPMA’s Commitment to Quality Pipes and Pipe InfrastructureThe Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA) has been actively involved in promoting the use of quality pipes. It formed the Installation and Fabrication Plastics Pipe Association (IFPA) in 2009 to expand regulation of the Plastic Pipe Industry in Southern Africa and pipe infrastructure across the region.
“SAPPMA is comprised of leading industry players who are consistently advocating for the use of correctly manufactured and installed plastic pipes that meet stringent quality standards. This commitment ensures the reliability and longevity of water infrastructure systems, minimizing the risk of waterborne disease outbreaks,” Venter explains. He also emphasizes the dedication of this industry association to maintaining high standards.“We believe that the use of quality pipes and pipe infrastructure is crucial in preventing waterborne diseases like cholera. We strive to create awareness about the importance of reliable water infrastructure and collaborate with industry stakeholders to ensure adherence to quality standards.”