Ricochet News

VIDEO: Bay residents urged to continue saving water at prayer for rain

By Afikile Lugunya - Jan 26, 2018
VIDEO: Bay residents urged to continue saving water at prayer for rain

The Nelson Mandela Bay’s precarious water situation was laid bare at a prayer session that was held at the Churchill dam on Friday and was attended by Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, as well as the Metro’s Engineering, Electricity & Energy, Councillor Masixole Zinto, various religious leaders and traditional leaders.

In their prayers, the various Christian leaders pleaded with God to break the drought and make it rain as the dams supplying the Metro – as well as the Kouga Local Municipality, are at a combined 24% full.

Meanwhile, the Xhosa traditional leaders present also prayed to Qamata - the God of the Xhosa people, who is the child of the sun god, Thixo, and the earth goddess, Jobela, to hear the cries of the people for rains.

“We gathered here at the Churchhill dam just to show the public what the situation of the water crisis is in the Metro and we invited religious leaders just to pray for God’s intervention,” Trollip told journalists.

“God gives us the water and the air - only He makes and we can’t. We rely totally on His grace so having religious leaders here was critically important for us to humble ourselves and to say we are running out of these critical resources that we need to keep alive and to keep our city going.”

The mayor also took the opportunity to express his gratitude to the residents of the Metro for using less water over the December holidays than what was expected since the City had many visitors.

In November 2017 29.79% was used whereas in December, 27.13 was used, showing a 2, 66% difference to water used.

“When we encouraged the residents of this Metro to use less water, they listened, therefore, we are very grateful for that.

“We want to encourage them to continue to use less water plus, we also need to tell them that in December, the Churchill dam was 20.33% full while in December 2016, it was 41.94% full,” he described.

He drew parallels between the situation facing the city of Cape Town and the Bay.

“I think the only benefit about the Cape Town situation is that the whole country is now aware of how the future of Day Zero looks like.

“I believe that, as the Nelson Mandela Bay, we have been hot on the heels of the restriction that Cape Town has been imposing and we have seen the dramatic reduction of the consumption of water in the City. I want to thank everybody, who has been part of that reduction and changing of habits and using water more sparingly,” Trollip said.

“If it doesn’t rain after today’s prayer, of which I believe it will rain, then whatever endeavours we use will not be enough.

“We want to reduce the water to 150ml per day and we want every citizen in our City not to use more than 50 litres of water per day.”