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City of Cape Town offers help to drought-stricken Nelson Mandela Bay

Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has extended a helping hand to Nelson Mandela Bay as Day Zero looms. TRACEY ADAMS African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has extended a helping hand to Nelson Mandela Bay as Day Zero looms. TRACEY ADAMS African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 21, 2022

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Cape Town – Having dodged the Day Zero bullet, the City of Cape town has offered support to Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB).

NMB is facing one of the worst droughts and water shortages in many areas. Damns are reaching low levels and if there is no significant rain coming, taps might run dry before the end of June.

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In 2018, Cape Town was on the brink of becoming the world’s first major metropolitan area to run out of water, prompting what officials referred to as Day Zero.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has extended a helping hand to the drought-stricken NMB. He said like the rest of South Africans, he shares a sense of great concern about the current water crisis facing NMB and the prospect that the metro will run out of water.

“On Friday, I wrote to the mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, Eugené Johnson, to offer Cape Town’s technical advice, assistance, and disaster management support,” said Hill-Lewis.

“The threat of our own potential Day Zero in 2018 is still fresh in the memories of Capetonians as we too faced a devastating multi-year drought.

“Thankfully, we avoided this, and we have learnt many valuable lessons from that crisis.

“In the hope that there is still time to avoid the worst in Nelson Mandela Bay, the City of Cape Town would like to offer our help.”

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He said the Mother City would gladly make a team of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) officials, as well as technical and engineering teams, available to assist in whichever way possible.

The ongoing drought started in 2015 and affected parts of the Eastern Cape.

In NMB, reasons cited for the severity of the drought include poor water management by the municipality, unpredictable rainfall patterns and vandalism of local infrastructure

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Activists speaking to various media houses said they have long warned about the looming water crisis but the cries fell on deaf ears.

The Churchill Dam is set to run dry on Friday, which will affect four towns.

When the dams run dry, 107 areas will have no water.

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