Eastern Cape needs drought relief

Grazing lands are dry and pale, while livestock is dying in rural Eastern Cape, the writer says.
Grazing lands are dry and pale, while livestock is dying in rural Eastern Cape, the writer says.
Image: Yamkela Ntshongwana.

Mr President, I appeal to you and your government to declare the Eastern Cape a drought disaster area. There is no rain, and therefore a shortage of water. Grazing lands are dry and pale, while livestock is dying.

This causes suffering to small-scale farmers and ordinary people.

Farming is an important investment for many Africans, and to some the only means of survival. When there is no water there is no life for many people in the Eastern Cape.

The PAC proposes that a drought relief fund be established and co-ordinated by all spheres of government (local, provincial and national).

We appeal to the president to visit the Eastern Cape to see for himself how the huge, horrible drought makes the people suffer and struggle to survive.

Small-scale farmers are the ones hit hard because they do not have capital resources to protect their herds and crops from dying. Crop production is severely affected and agricultural products are shrinking drastically.

Mr President, whenever there is a drought, an outbreak of diseases such as cholera as well as diarrhoea, malnutrition and general debilitating health conditions often visit the people and cause unprecedented pain and suffering. This has the potential to put a strain on the already overstretched healthcare system in the province.

Your intervention will be highly appreciated by the people.

Manelisi Mampana, PAC secretary for land affairs

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