Region just one month away from drought crisis if heavens don’t open
BUFFALO City executive mayor Xola Pakati is pleading with residents to pray for rain for the region and surrounding areas.
“We are not only speaking to the Christian community but this is an inclusive request,” said Pakati, who joined in praying for rain last weekend at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
“We need rain. If it does not rain between now and October, we are going to be in a serious crisis. Our dam levels are very low. Unfortunately, the rains we have had recently have not done anything to our dams.
“This is serious, we are facing a drought crisis,” he said speaking to the GO! on Monday.
The level of the Wriggleswade Dam, which is the backup dam for the city, is declining at a rate of 1.6% per week, which means the area will be in a drought situation from the end of October if the September and October rains do not come.
BCM spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya issued a statement last week in which he stated that the Wriggleswade Dam was activated after the city’s main dams, the Bridle Drift and Nahoon Dams – supply dams that provide water to East London, Mdantsane and surrounding areas – recorded their lowest levels below 40%.
The Department of Water and Sanitation started to release raw water from Wriggleswade Dam from June 1, as per the dam operating rules for the Amathole System, in order to supplement raw water supply to Bridle Drift and Nahoon Dams.
“It is worth noting that there are serious financial implications that the city is incurring with this exercise. This will therefore necessitate the implementation of the next stage of water restrictions and punitive tariffs, which is 10% water restrictions with punitive tariffs 1A.
“Remember, we have been engaged in a number of activities trying to raise consumer awareness campaigns,” Ngwenya said.
Pakati said: “We urge all BCM residents to use water sparingly.
“We need to work together as a community.”