Scores of residents of an estate had their water supplies restored on Friday, two weeks after a pressure surge caused pipes to rupture.
Up to half the families living on the Loughborough Park Estate, Brixton, were able to have showers, wash their clothes and flush their loos for the first time in a fortnight after the problem was fixed.
But the remainder of locals are still waiting to get their supplies back – some of them having waited 18 days without being able to do basic tasks at home.
Most have had to lug bottled water or buckets from a tank from street level just to be able to flush their toilets.
Landlords the Guinness Trust have apologised for the inconvenience to residents and say they hope the rest of the estate will soon get its supply back.
But families have complained about ants and mice in flats and lifts which do not work, making it harder to carry water to flats at the top of blocks.
Resident Sophia Akrofi said: “It is ridiculous, the level of care residents have been getting, especially the elder ones.
“I have an 80-year-old neighbour on the top floor and the lift had been broken for weeks. We did not feel safe getting into it. Everyone is still walking up and down the stairs. No one should have upheaval in their lives.
“I was born on this estate and as black woman, I would imagine that if it was a predominantly white estate, things would be better.”
A spokeswoman for The Guinness Partnership said: “Last Friday, water supplies were restored to five of the 10 blocks. We are continuing to work hard to ensure that full water supply is returned to the whole estate as soon as possible.
“The loss of water was caused by a surge in pressure in the pipes causing multiple joint failure right across the pipe network, 8ft underground. The damage, and necessary repair work, has proved more extensive and complex than anticipated. We are dependent on specialist parts being manufactured, which is why it has taken longer to complete than expected.
“We are doing everything possible to provide support to customers, including delivering water to their homes. If any customer needs additional support please do let us know and we will be happy to assist.
“We will be refunding rent and service charges for the period they have been without water.
“We want to emphasise how very sorry we are to all our customers for the ongoing disruption on the Loughborough Park estate.”
Director Nathan Gravesande said: “I do not recognise the claims – about race, I would say categorically not. Staff live locally and work locally. We have been here five years. To us, the residents are not just residents – in many cases, they are our friends.”
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