The water crisis in Makhanda is bringing out the best in the town’s schools, maximising the use of available water.

If the rain stays away, residents face Day Zero mid-February.

Tanks, boreholes and strict water saving regimes are in place.

The Diocesan School for Girls invested in a sound water management plan, which includes water storage and other saving measures.

Shower time is limited to two minutes per person. The water is then used for toilet flushing. The school uniform policy was also relaxed to reduce laundry volumes.

“Last week ,when we measured, we were down to 60 litres per day and that was including the building that we are doing and replenishing gardens and swimming pools where we had to. So, I think we are  going well,” says school principal Shelley Frayne.

Ntsika Secondary is already used to unreliable supply. It stores water for critical functions like sanitation.

“Our school is busy cleaning the roof. So, that uses a lot of water. What we do as a school, we use the big rubbish bins to collect that water, then we use it later to water the garden and our trees,” says learner, Mfundi George.

“They give us buckets so that we can save water and use that water to clean our plates,” says another learner, Asimo Lulu.

All Makhanda residents are urged to get on board.

“We call on residents to embark on water saving strategies by recycling the waste. We can save waste by harvesting the grey water from the sinks and from the baths and re-use that water to flush and to water our gardens,” says Mayor of Makhanda Mzukisi Mpahlwa.

The municipality has received R150 million from government to help increase the capacity of the James Kleynhans Dam.

Water will be diverted from the eastern to the western side of town once financial support is available.

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