Ricochet News

Amathole District Municipality now a drought disaster area

Jan 31, 2017
Amathole District Municipality now a drought disaster area

In its ordinary council meeting held on Friday, at Calgary Conference Centre in East London, the Amathole District Municipality Council unanimously agreed to re-declare Amathole District a disaster area owing to resilient drought situation in the district.

Major towns in the municipality include Adelaide, Alice, Amatola Coastal, Bedford, Butterworth, Cathcart, Dutywa, Elliotdale, Fort Beaufort, Hamburg, Hogsback, Kei Mouth, Kei Road, Keiskammahoek, Kentani, Komga, Middeldrift, Morgan Bay, Ngqamakhwe, Peddie, Seymore, Stutterheim andWillowvale.

Dam levels remain critical in various parts of the ADM. This is despite recent and ‘insignificant’ rainfall during the past few weeks.

“Xilinxa, Dutywa, Bedford and Adelaide dams remain critical. Dwesa and Qwaninga rivers are equally running dry. The situation is tantamount to few days of water in those areas. The situation is so dire that we are earnestly on our knees praying for rainfall in the next few days as long term weather focast show no sign of rain in the near future,” said a visibly concerned ADM Executive Mayor, Cllr. Nomfusi Nxawe.

“We are hard at work carting water and distributing communal tanks. So far we managed to distribute over 120 communal tanks in Butterworth, Bika and Centane.

"A total of 16 tankers are carting water to the affected areas delivering 2 to 3 loads a day each. We are in consultation with the National Government and hoping for a speedy and sustainable solution."

ADM has been pleading with communities to use water sparingly and water consumption patterns and demand remain high despite the drought.

"The drought situation is worsening by the hour," the municipality said.

Farmers oalso affected

In an interview with Business Link magazine, Agri-Eastern Cape President, Doug Stern, said that the drought has also severely devastated Eastern Cape farmers – both in their pockets as well as on the field.

Read more: EASTERN CAPE FARMERS HAVE BEEN HIT HARD BY CURRENT DROUGHT: AGRIEC PRESIDENT

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