South Africa: Eastern Cape Drought - Nelson Mandela Bay's Dying Dams

Dry soil (file photo).
analysis

The two major dams for the Eastern Cape's biggest metro, Nelson Mandela Bay, are running dry and with no major rain forecast, the city is facing an unprecedented water crisis.

Flowers, trees and vegetation grow in spaces where once, around 2015, there was water in Nelson Mandela Bay's two biggest dams. The metro, consisting of Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), Kariega (formerly Uitenhage) and Despatch is home to an estimated 1.3 million people.

The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality last week launched a major campaign to urge residents to save water as dam levels dropped to new lows. The area has been in the grip of a prolonged drought.

Garth Sampson of the South African Weather Service said to save the situation, the Langkloof, where the catchment area is, would have to receive more than 50mm of rain in 24 hours.

"We need a flood," he said.

Grass and vegetation is growing where there once was water in the Kouga...

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