DA urges premier to declare EC a drought disaster zone

DA shadow MEC for rural development and agrarian reform Retief Odendaal has called on EC premier Oscar Mabuyane to decalre a Provincial State of Disaster in response to the ongoing drought that grips the province.

“The entire western half of the province is still grappling with a seven-year drought that is decimating farmers and water-scarce municipalities,” Odendaal said.

“The ongoing drought is severly impacting on the farming operations of both commercial and emerging farmers. In addition, the severity of the drought can easily cause a humanitarian crisis in municipalities such as Dr Beyers Naude, Ndlambe, Kouga and Nelson Mandela Bay.”

The severity of the drought can easily cause a humanitarian crisis

Odendaal pointed to the Kouga Dam, which currently stands at 6.4% capacity, as evidence of the severity of the crisis.

BCM is also hard hit, despite recent rains providing a much-needed boost to dam levels.

According to the latest figures available from the department of water and sanitation, Wriggleswade Dam currently sits at 24% while Nahoon Dam is at 29.9% capacity.

“Should the province be declared a drought disaster area, the Eastern Cape may apply for some much-needed drought migration funding from the national government,” Odendaal said.

The GO! & Express reached out to the office of the premier for comment, but no response had been received by print deadline.

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