Monday, November 02, 2015

S. Africa facing the worst drought since 1960s (official)

South Africa has suffered in the past few months the worst drought since 1960s, Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane says.

The government on Monday announced the allocation of 350 million rand (about 26 million U.S. dollars) to fight the drought that has gripped parts of the country.

It comes after several provinces reported severe water shortage, with Free State and KwaZulu-Natal declared "disaster areas" to which water supplies are being delivered by water tankers.

Mokonyane said small dams in parts of the country have dried up.

The government would arrange the delivery of water to drought-hit areas, she said, urging "responsible use of water".

Meanwhile, Rand Water, the country's main water supplier, said it might be forced to introduce "water restrictions" in Gauteng province if there was no rainfall in a short time.

Water shortage has reportedly affected 2.7 million households in South Africa.

The drought has also dealt a blow to agricultural production.

Maize crop production is expected to fall from 14.25 million tonnes last year to an estimated 9.84 million tonnes this year, said John Purchase, chief executive officer at South Africa's Agricultural Business Chamber.

This means the country may have to import food to avert shortages, he said.

Significant drops in crop production are also expected in other Southern African countries, like Zimbabwe, Malawi, Madagascar and Lesotho, according to the World Food Programme.

Weather forecasters predict the record dry season would continue as the outlook for the coming rain season is not positive. 

 Xinhua - china.org.cn
2/11/15
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1 comment:

  1. South Africa in midst of 'epic drought'...

    South Africa is facing its worst drought since 1982, with more than 2.7 million households facing water shortages across the country, the government has said.

    Lennox Mabaso, spokesperson for the Department of local government in KwaZulu-Natal, told Al Jazeera that the drought, concentrated in provinces of Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, was beginning to impact on livelihoods and draining the economy.

    "The dams are at an all-time low. This is an epic drought and government is doing the best it can do. As you can imagine, it requires a lot of resources and its impacting everyone, rich and poor," Mabaso said................http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/11/south-africa-midst-epic-drought-151104070934236.html
    4/11/15

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