Drought-stricken Northern Cape declared a disaster area

Premier Zamani Saul announced that 80% of the Northern Cape was affected by drought, while 60% was declared severe drought areas.

Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu pledged R300 million to immediately provide emergency relief towards the severe drought programmes in the province.

The declaration is expected to enable the provincial department of agriculture, rural development, land reform, environment and nature conservation, with the assistance of the national department of human settlements, water and sanitation to respond decisively to the drought situation in the province, reports Caxton Central.

Additional money will also be used for funding alternative water sources such as drilling of boreholes and water technology.

“We have then agreed to go into emergency mode and to urgently kick-start the necessary measures in addressing the drought in the province,” she said.

Sisulu was flanked by relevant stakeholders from the national and provincial level, where Premier Zamani Saul announced that 80% of the Northern Cape was affected by drought, while 60% was declared severe drought areas.

Despite rainfalls, some parts of the country such as Butterworth in the Eastern Cape and some areas in Northern Cape are still experiencing water challenges, which have adversely impacted on the supply of water to communities. However, short-term interventions in hot spot areas have been implemented in the form of drilling of boreholes and providing water by means of water tanks.

During the drought intervention meeting held on January 9 2020, the department’s finances for this financial year were reviewed with the view to re-prioritise funds towards drought interventions in affected areas across the country. The funding will be in line with the accelerated Drought Intervention Strategy currently being developed by the department, together with implementation plans.

Eastern Cape Province has also not received enough rain to rescue it from the effects of drought. The Eastern Cape Government also intervened to mitigate drought in the province by setting aside R174 million towards drought relief programmes to ease the situation.

Here is your weekly dam update:

  • The Vaal River System consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng, Sasol and Eskom, is at a total of 101.2%.
  • The Cape Town Dam System, consisting of six dams serving mainly the City of Cape Town, is at 54.1% this week.
  • The Eastern Cape Dam System is at 46.4% while KwaZulu-Natal sits at 54.9%.

Here are the latest dam percentages throughout the country:

Please note that the abovementioned summaries are not representative of all dams within any of the Provinces or Water Management Areas. The summaries only reflect the storages for those dams listed in the Weekly State of Reservoirs Report.

For a more in-depth rainfall update, visit WeatherSA. For more information on the water storage levels across the country, visit the DWS site.

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