Small towns suffering as drought tightens grip

19 May 2021 - 10:26 By Michael Kimberley
The Nqweba Dam which supplies Graaff-Reinet is almost empty, with extraction of the last 8% of water halted due to poor quality.
The Nqweba Dam which supplies Graaff-Reinet is almost empty, with extraction of the last 8% of water halted due to poor quality.
Image: Supplied

More than a year ago, Graaff-Reinet residents were marvelling at the sight of waters rising in the Nqweba Dam. Today it is nearly empty.

Once again, the Karoo town is dependent on boreholes as the crippling drought has reduced the main supply damn to 8.25% capacity, with the extraction of water discontinued because of its poor quality.

Similar situations are playing out in many small towns and villages around the Eastern Cape.

Nelson Mandela Bay is already in a desperate situation as KwaNobuhle expects to be without water from July 1, and taps in Gqeberha’s western suburbs are predicted to be dry from August.

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