For Public Housing Folk, Dry Taps a Living Nightmare

SUBANG JAYA, March 10 - Public housing residents have been left at their wits' end after almost a week without water.At the SS13 People's Public Housing flats, residents clustered around a large 1,500-litre water tank, holding empty buckets, bottles and containers as they took turns to collect water.Cleaner A. Padmavathi, 63, said water for the housing unit was cut off since 2pm on Tuesday."Some of us had trickles from our house taps, but overall it has been dry throughout," she told the Malay Mail yesterday by the side of the housing unit's road.Padmavathi said the tank was installed on Thursday night, after repeated calls to Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas)."At least five or six of my neighbours had to constantly call Syabas before they came by to install the tank."Since then water has come by twice, at 10.30am and 3.30pm, which has proven to [be] a relief," she said.Padmavathi said she had to rely on her relatives' goodwill, who allowed her family to come by and take showers or collect water.Housewife Siti Yassir, 40, said she had to purchase two or three-litre water bottles every day just to fill up her toilet tanks."Not to mention the water I need for cooking and to bathe my children. It has really taken a toll on our finances," she said.Living on the second floor of the SS13 public housing was N. Murigayah, 77, who expressed hopes for the water disruption to end soon since carrying heavy pails of water was beginning to affect his health."I'm not as strong as I used to be. Even though it is only me and my wife living in the house now, we still use a lot of water to bathe, especially in the current hot weather."Carrying two pails of water each time, I can only make one trip back and forth from the water tank to my house before I need to rest. My legs and back would hurt badly if I exert myself," he said. Former resident Rahim Mohd Nor, 30, who now lives in USJ 11, said he drops by every now and then to help his elderly mother carry water to her house on the second floor."I would come in the morning just before work and in the evening after work. I don't want my 71-year old mother to injure herself carrying heavy pails of water to her home," he said.Water supply disruptions in the Klang Valley started Tuesday because of critical equipment repair works at the Sungai Selangor Phase 3 (SSP3) water treatment plant and were initially meant to last until Thursday.But a surge vessel system burst at the plant on Tuesday, which injured on-site staff, extended the water cuts.Syabas said yesterday that the disrupted water supply in the Klang Valley will be restored in stages starting this morning.

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