Nelson Mandela Metro to get water boost

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Plans are afoot to ensure the Nelson Mandela Metro and Kouga Municipality receive most of its water supply from the Nooitgedacht dam instead of the Kouga dam. This will help in addressing the on-going drought and water crisis in the metro.

Water and Sanitation Minister Gugile Nkwinti made the announcement on the sidelines of the Khoi and San cultural event at Uitenhage, where he delivered a lecture.

Kouga dam is now less than 7%  full. The dam could run out of water within the next three months.
It supplies water to farming areas and most of its fruit is exported.

The Minister of Water and Sanitation met with mayors of the affected drought stricken areas in the province
to craft strategies and provide necessary funding.

“We get two-point strategy which we are introducing. We want government to agree on this. We want to focus on water agriculture, towns and cities around the coast. We would like them to go desalination route, I am preparing a summit, with people that understands technology, we want to help metros,” said Nkwinti.

Farmers in the Kouga region have appealed to government to come up with solutions as the farming community continues to be negatively affected.

The region draws 20% of its water from the Kouga dam, now farmers says that is not enough to sustain their businesses.

“Dams have been low. We have seen drought for more than two years. The agricultural use has been restricted since 2016. They only received 40 percent of now new water year, the reasoning behind is to make water supply sauce is managed effectively, ” said Gamtoos Water Board Member, Reinet Collesky.

Nkwinti says he will assemble top government senior officials and engineers to monitor the situation here in the Kouga area and assist farmers with tank water to sustain their businesses.