Drought stricken Eastern Cape finally receives rain

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Rain has fallen over the drought stricken western half of the Eastern Cape including in the catchment areas of the dams supplying the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

However, the South Africa Weather Service warned that the rainfall is not enough to stave off the water crisis in the area or make a significant impact on the supply dams despite videos on social media showing rivers flowing strongly.

A forecaster at Weather SA, Garth Sampson, says there are unofficial reports that up to 180 millilitres of rain fell the in Krakeelhoek area.

Other notable figures include more than 50 millimetres that were recorded in the Kareedouw area.

Sampson urges residents to continue using water sparingly.

“Although this will buy us few days or maybe a week or two the results will not be seen in the days or before Monday and beyond, this is not the end to the water crisis. As of after lunchtime today no further rain is expected for the next week, if we all conserve water this will assist in extending the day zero until we receive more rain.”

Day one of water-shedding in Eastern Cape’s Kouga local municipality

Residents in this area were quickly learning to live with dry taps.

“The water crisis here is affecting us very badly. Yes, we do understand that the dams are dry and we are praying for rain soon in the catchment areas. We just hope the municipality will keep its word and make sure they stick to the times they tell us,” a resident lamented.

“It’s very frustrating but I can understand why the municipality has done this. Water is a scarce resource and it’s very frustrating. However, if we don’t watch our consumption then we’ll have no water,” another resident said.

The local businesses were also feeling the pinch.

“It’s been day one now and we can see the difference, business is slow and we have no solution so we don’t know now all we can do is pray,” said business owner, Denise Barnard.

The municipality says the shedding is a short-term plan as it’s working around the clock to conserve and increase water supply to the region.

“We need to get more water in our reservoirs and that is the focus, we are busy now and we have enough water in terms of volume, the issue is just the quality of water, we are busy treating the water in raw plants and installing raw plants and that should be online very soon,” explained Kouga Municipality Deputy Mayor, Hattingh Bornman.

Churchill Dam, the last standing dam supplying the municipality is currently at nine percent. Residents are urged to use water sparingly.

VIDEO: Taps are fast running dry in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro: Joseph Tsatsire

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