Al-Imdaad FoundationAL-IMDAAD FOUNDATION
29 Oct 2015

KwaZulu-Natal has been declared a disaster area.This follows a severe drought that has cost government hundreds of millions of rand. Strict water restrictions have been put in place in many areas to try and save water.

Jozini a rural town in northern KwaZulu-Natal has been ravaged by the on-going drought. Experts say it's the worst drought to hit the province in the past two decades. Rivers and dams have run dry, thousands of animals have died and crops have perished. Locals have lost hope. One of the residents Nelisiwe Mlambo says, “We have diarrhoea because we drink dirty water. We share drinking water with the pigs. The river is extremely dirty that is why we suffer from diarrhoea. We go to the clinic and still come back and drink dirty water from the river.” The national government has declared KwaZulu-Natal a disaster area. A move aimed at releasing the much-needed funds to fight the drought. Agri SA says it's worried that poor harvests will fuel inflation. Agri SA’s Omri Van Zyl explains, “We're looking at having discussions about drought relief. We are also talking to the banks but I think from the governments's side it's very important to look at drought relief because we need to look at the sustainability of the farming enterprise going forward. We don't want a situation in SA where we become insecure or where food inflation gets so high that for many poor and needy people it becomes unaffordable. So these are the kind of plans we're putting into place". Educational programes on water-saving techniques will continue. The Harry Gwala District municipality in KwaZulu-Natal has become the latest to announce water restrictions, as the drought crisis intensifies in the province. UThungulu district municipality and eThekwini metro have already implemented water restrictions. The mayor of Harry Gwala municipality Mluleki Ndobe says they are sending water tankers to the community. “This is seriously affecting not only the household consumers, but even the commercial farmers both in terms of livestock as well as crop farming, and we have arranged a series of meetings so that together we agree on the strategies and means of providing water, right now the only solution is to really enforce the restrictions,” says Ndobe. (Courtesy of SABC)
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