South Africa: DA MPL Retief Odendaal Lobbies the United Nations to Intervene Over Eastern Cape Drought


A water management crisis has caused Eastern Cape's drought problems, says DA MPL Retief Odendaal.

DA Member of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature Retief Odendaal has written to the United Nations Water Chairperson Gilbert Houngbo asking for an intervention after the government in the drought-stricken province has failed to support municipalities and farmers.

In his letter to Houngbo dated 6 December 2021, Odendaal said he wanted to lobby the UN to provide assistance and expertise to the South African government, but more specifically the Eastern Cape provincial government, to help with the water crisis due to the crippling ongoing drought.

While dam levels in the province were at 52.4% full, compared with 50.8% last week, with 26 dams sitting at above 50%, Odendaal said millions of residents were facing possibly the worst humanitarian crisis to affect the province as the government did nothing.

Daily Maverick reported last month that for more than 10 years some parts of the Eastern Cape had faced a series of multi-year droughts that had dropped dam levels to below 50%, made worse by the climate crisis and the long-term effects of El Niño.

Speaking to Daily Maverick on Tuesday, Odendaal said the Eastern Cape government...

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