Eight towns in the Amathole District Municipality in the Eastern Cape have hit day zero. Eight other dams are below 50% full.

Major dams have also dried up and the district is seeking over R900-million for short term relief. Mnquma, Mbhashe and Raymond Mhlaba are some of the affected municipalities.

Butterworth has already reached a hazardous drought state.

Amathole District Municipality spokesperson, Nonceba Madikizela-Vuso, says they have drilled over 30 boreholes in the area but some have contaminated water.

She says: “We have equipped those boreholes and found six to be okay for human consumption. These are at hospitals, clinics, Butterworth High School and one is at the correctional centre.”

“Out of those boreholes, there is about four that we have already ruled out as not fit for human consumption and therefore cannot utilize them.”