water crisis grows

The Greater Giyani municipality has applied to the provincial government to declare Giyani in Limpopo a disaster area.

Mayor Doris Mathebula said this was because Giyani and its surrounding areas were experiencing a serious shortage of water.

Mathebula said the Mopani district municipality's disaster unit had already forwarded an application to local government. Housing MEC Soviet Lekganyane will recommend and forward the application to Premier Cassel Mathale for approval.

She said the only sources of water in the area were the Nsami and Klein Letaba dams.

"But the problem is that the two dams are almost empty," Mathebula said yesterday. She said the Nsami Dam's capacity stood at 3,27percent, while the Klein Letaba contained only 0,5percent water.

"These figures tell you that the area is in serious danger and needs urgent intervention, failing which we risk losing human lives and livestock," Mathebula said.

Mathebula said other sources of water in the area were dry and there was no hope unless it rained heavily.

The rural areas, for instance, had too little or nothing left, said Mathebula.

She said even the areas that used to receive water were no longer getting anything.

She cited Kremetart, a suburb near Giyani, as an area that used to get water from boreholes.

But the municipality was now considering stopping the pumping of the littlewater left in the area.

In the past few years the Blouberg municipality in Senwabarwana had applied but was not granted permission to declare the area a disaster after a serious water shortage.

People in the area at the time were sharing fountain water with animals.