DESPITE RECENT RAINFALL, DROUGHT REMAINS SEVERE
7 July 2015
The KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has welcomed the rain showers that have in the past few days refreshed the coastal areas of the province but the department insists the prolonged drought remains severe and the public must continue to conserve water.
“We would need weeks and weeks of sustained rainfall to replenish our fast declining water reservoirs to return to water levels considered safe and sustainable. We therefore urge the public not to become complacent amid the recent rain showers and continue to conserve water to ensure that the current reserves last longer,” said KZN MEC for Cogta Nomusa Dube-Ncube.
The KZN Cogta was instrumental behind the formal declaration of drought in the province as agricultural production plummeted as a result of the prolonged drought last year. The national government subsequently came to KZN’s rescue with drought relief funding to the tune of close to R400-million. These funds have been transferred directly to KZN’s most affected municipalities.
“Combatting the effects of drought is everybody’s business and we can only ensure sufficient levels in our water reservoirs if we change our consumer behaviour into the future. KZN is facing droughts with increasing severity and frequency unless our call for coordinated water conservation is met with decisive action by all consumers,” said Dube-Ncube.
The KZN Cogta has invested significant resources into public drought awareness campaigns calling for the public’s support for water rationing measures imposed by the most affected municipalities and voluntary water conservation. The department has also appealed to municipalities to maximise their efforts to repair all reported water leaks and prevent future water losses.
“The recent rainfall may give the false impression that the worst of the current drought is over. The impact of the current drought has been so severe that all this rainfall is simply insufficient to relieve even the most urgent shortages of water in the most affected areas of the province. Our campaign to conserve water will therefore continue,” said Dube-Ncube.
Statement issued by KZN Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso, July 7 2015