The Water and Sanitation Department said that the recent rains have indeed led to a slight increase in the national dam levels, but South Africans must not see this brief relief as a cause for celebration.
The department pointed out that the national dam levels which now sits at 53.7% saw a 0.2% increase in the last week. It is true that the water level increased, but officials say this is far less than the 79.5% recorded during the same period of time last year.
Spokesperson for the department Sputnik Ratau suggests that residents should continue to use water sparingly as the department said relief from the El Nino climate system which has caused South Africa’s isn’t expected any time soon.
“In essence, we can’t do a song and dance because that amount of rain that has fallen hasn’t made too much of an act on the dam levels.”
“It is critical for us to be able to always have that at the back of our minds that our water is not infinite.”
In other words, its not yet time to rejoice that the rains are here because the national dam levels is still not enough to serve everyone.
Earlier this year, the extreme heat that befell the country led to significant evaporation of water from the national dams open reservoirs as reported by the department.
Meanwhile, Gauteng provincial government said it did not plan for disasters in its budget. In other words, the province has no budget allocated for the drought that threatens its residents.
In a meeting yesterday, members of the Provincial Legislature in the province tabled quarterly reports for various departments. The committee regretted the fact that due to lack inadequate resources, not all farmers can be helped during this trial period.
However, chairperson Errol Magerman said interventions have been set in motion to assist farmers in coping with the drought.
The Agriculture and Rural Development Portfolio Committee said discussions are underway by the provincial government to try and declare Gauteng a drought disaster area as the country hopes for more increase in the national dam levels.