In an interview with news agency eNCA on October 28, 2019, hydrology expert Dr. Gideon Groenewald said South Africa is now experiencing the worst drought in a thousand years. He added that the majority of small towns have already run out of water.
Groenewald said the drought was a result of a natural drying cycle, and no one was to blame.
Aside from the drying water tap, low rainfall and poor infrastructure also contributed to the worsening drought that has left thousands of locals suffering.
Five villages have reportedly been experiencing water scarcity for three months, leaving livestock dead, withered crops, and closed schools.
Residents have been devastated over the apparent lack of support from the government. On the other hand, the Western Cape province avoided the disaster proactively because the city’s government had implemented water rationing, dam rehabilitation projects, and desalination schemes two years prior.
“We are in a drought that has lasted for about 20 years in short term, 220 years in longer-term, and it’s now going in for the worst drought in 1 000 years according to my records, so it means no human being or institution can be blamed for the fact that the dams are dry and the rivers are drying,” Groenewald said.
According to South Africa’s Weather Service, the current dry season will continue until December, and the country may experience a temporary respite.
Dam levels are much lower in every province in 2019 compared to the same months in 2018 This means that the dry season in 2020 could also be more difficult to endure unless the nation receives adequate or excess rainfall.
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