The water situation is looking rather grim in Grahamstown, as it has been for a while, and the term Day Zero rings a loud reality for its residents as the municipality made an urgent call to cut water consumption down to 25 litres per person per day.
That’s right. Just 25 litres.
And here you think you had it bad when the City of Cape Town and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality urged its residents to use 60 litres of water a day.
For the first time in 40 years, the dams supplying the western parts of Grahamstown – or as the town is now known, Makhanda – has reached a level too low to be pumped. Howieson’ Poort Dam is on 11.2 % while Settlers Dam has reached a low of just 6.3%.
Isuzu Motors South Africa delivered two water tank trucks this week to the drought-stricken area where 10 boreholes have been drilled by Gift of the Givers when they arrived in Grahamstown February 2019.
The clean water will be trucked from the boreholes drilled at various locations across the town to strategic points in the community for residents to use. And as another temporary measure another 10 boreholes will be drilled to alleviate the immediate crises.
Just 25 litres.
And to top it all off, residents in the eastern parts of the town were without running water for several days due to challenges at the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works.
Now wouldn’t it be great to get that #DayZero hashtag (and fear) trending again and to increase the awareness of what is happening in other parts of South Africa? Or does a worldwide public outcry only apply to our country’s bigger cities?
*In May 2019 Gift of the Givers withdrew from Makhanda in May 2019 as it could no longer fund the R15-million operation and after the municipality told them that only Grahamstown companies could be paid for drought intervention with government emergency funding. Towards the end of may government has agreed to compensate the charity organisation. Read more.