South Africa: Water and Sanitation Mitigates the Drought Impact in Butterworth

press release

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) responded positively to the impact of drought that hit hard Butterworth and other surrounding areas of Mnquma Local Municipality. The DWS interventions to mitigate the drought in Butterworth included creating a platform of engagement with Water Service Authorities (WSAs) through the Joint Operations Committee (JoC), drought awareness campaigns and deployed water tankers to the area.

Currently the levels of the dams supplying Butterworth are 0%, mainly Gcuwa and Xilinxa. The DWS has allocated drought funding to Mnquma LM to ease the situation. The drought rollover amount for Mnquma Local Municipality that has been approved is an amount of R57, 365, 420-00. The funding was utilized to drill and equip 33 boreholes, and connect them to the existing water treatment plant. An amount of R49.9 million will be spent on ground water development for the Ibika Township.

The Local Municipality has implemented water rationing around Butterworth starting from 5am to 10am and from 5pm to 8pm daily. An amount of R8 million will be spent on refurbishing the Butterworth Treatment Works.

Furthermore the DWS looks unfavourably on the acts of vandalism of water infrastructure, especially rain water harvesting tanks that are distributed at strategic points around Butterworth townships.

DWS is working with Amathole District Municipality which has been allocated 70 x 5 000 litres of rain water harvesting tanks. The long term solution is to install an emergency pipeline from Nqamakwe scheme and pump water from the Tsomo River to Butterworth.

Also, there is an additional funding allocation from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) to augment the current water supply by drilling and equipping more boreholes; an amount of R6 million has been set aside for this.

Issued by: Department of Water and Sanitation

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