#WaterCrisis: Another Western Cape municipality sends out SOS

By Lisa Isaacs Time of article published Jan 14, 2019

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Cape Town – Another municipality has requested emergency water help from charity organisation Gift of the Givers to assist more than 14 000 people with drinking water.

Following urgent delivery of bottled water to crisis-hit Laingsburg and Beaufort West in the last two weeks, Gift of the Givers chief executive Imtiaz Sooliman said that the Kannaland municipality has been the latest to appeal to the organisation for help.

Gift of the Givers had expected more municipalities to call, as many of the outlying Western Cape areas have been water distressed for several weeks now, Sooliman said.

“Gift of the Givers brought in 300 containers of bottled water by ship and road to Cape Town from January, at our cost, to assist the citizens of the whole of the Western Cape. 

"This water was sponsored by South Africans directly to Gift of the Givers. We have responded to various water crises in the Western Cape throughout 2018,” Sooliman said.

“Gift of the Givers has already packed trucks with bottled water to deliver this coming week to the areas mentioned in the letter. Many corporates have once again asked us to collect tons of bottled water from next week to respond to the various severely drought-affected areas in the Western Cape.”

Signed by municipal manager Reynold Stevens, the letter appeals for assistance, particularly for Calitzdorp and Zoar.

“Kannaland municipality is currently facing tremendous challenges regarding the provision of drinking water due to the drought, and extreme dry weather conditions,” the letter read.

“The communities of Calitzdorp, and Zoar (are) at this stage affected by this situation, due to the drop in dam levels.”

The municipality appealed for assistance with drinking water for 3 000 households, about 14 205 people.

Mayoral spokesperson Ian Avontuur said the letter was intended to get all stakeholders on board.

“We are facing an unforeseen crisis,” he said, adding that Stevens had assured him that everything was under control and the situation was being monitored.

Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell yesterday said the department was aware of “routine maintenance” on the Little Karoo Rural Water Supply network.

“The supply will be interrupted for a few hours. No water shortages in Calitzdorp are being experienced.

"The immediate water challenge should be resolved by this evening,” Bredell said.

As a contingency, there was water in storage at the Garden Route and Kannaland municipalities.

Oudtshoorn municipality confirmed the water supply was under pressure due to problems with the borehole pumps.

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