Before the installation, the village's 1,596 people had no access to running water and travelled 6.0 km to the Umzimvubu River, the country's third largest river, to collect water for their daily requirements. ESI-Africa
reports that as Mnxehazi is surrounded by mountains and has no access to electricity, solar energy was therefore recommended for this site, and FNB supplied the complete solar system, including 40 solar panels, charge controllers, inverters and 12 M-Solar deep cycle batteries, manufactured by FNB in East London.
Raw water is pumped from the Umzimvubu River into the water treatment system. The clear water is stored in two 10,000 litre storage tanks, from where it is pumped by booster pumps to the reservoir at the village. The solar and water treatment systems are fully automatic and a total of 34,000 litres of water is pumped to the reservoir per day, ESI-Africa
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