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Taps run dry as Nelson Mandela Bay hits Day Zero

Published Jun 13, 2022


Cape Town - Residents in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) have reached day zero.

The metro is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts, and the municipality has said it cannot meet the demand, which is causing various shortages in areas.

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On Sunday, after various water outages across the metro, the NMBM said its main distribution reservoir remained low.

The metro’s dams have run dry, with an average of 12% of dams filled to supply residents.

Currently, as of Monday, the Kouga dam is at 12%, Churchill at 9%, Impofu at 10% and Groendal at 21%.

A resident in the Metro, Sandy Cupp, said the government is to blame for day zero - again.

Speaking to IOL, she said day zero comes as the local government continue to fail to plan for the worst.

“We have had this a few times. Government never plan. We have had droughts. As soon as the rain comes, the plans they were going to implement just stop. Now, government is hastily putting up taps on a fixed location.

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Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality hits day zero. Photo: NMBM

“People can be seen driving up and down with tanks. But, not everyone is as fortunate as the full installation of one tank costs R10 000, and not everyone can afford that,” she explained.

Cupp explained the situation in the metro to be dire but says poor service from the local municipality is what led them to this point.

“They are wanting to ask us to tighten our belts, save water. However, when I drive to work, I can see water running. Do you know 40% of our water loss is due to leaks? Areas are currently without water. Prior to this, I have a friend whose water has been off for at least two days a week for the past two or three months,” she said.

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Fortunately, Cupp and her family have planned for the worst and have installed tanks on her premises.

“The scary part is what about those people who cannot afford tanks. As residents, we are yet to receive any information or communication about the taps being installed on fixed sites. We do not know if there will be a time frame to collect water or not.

“With no tankers being sent out to communities, how will the elderly be able to cope?” Cupp asked.

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The Gift of the Givers’ Ali Sablay confirmed a drilling team is currently on their way to Gqeberha.

“Gift of the Givers drilling team is on their way to #Gqeberhe (Port Elizabeth), which is now in a state of disaster following the absence of water in the dams, collectively having dropped to below 3%, which is mostly silt.

“Day Zero has arrived, with many communities progressively experiencing dwindling supplies over the last several weeks and now complete shutdown,” Sablay said.