The South African Drought

<img src="drought.jpg" alt="Drought" width="300" height="300">

Why the nationwide drought should concern every South African

Drought is once more in the news, especially the punishing and disastrous drought conditions in the North West Province. The maize crop is in ruins and cattle are dying like flies. Many farmers are facing an extremely uncertain future; they are in debt and this terrible drought has persisted since 2010. But it is not only the North West Province that is suffering from drought. All over Kwa-Zulu Natal water restrictions are now in place. The Limpopo Province is in trouble, the Northern Cape Province had much less rain than what is deemed normal. South Africa is in trouble and the shortage of water is just another blow to a country already battered by one setback after another.

City dwellers often fail to understand just how serious a drought condition is. There is water in their taps and while that is the case there is nothing to worry about. They fail to understand, however, that drought in the rural areas affects them directly. Crop failures inevitably lead to a situation where basic foodstuffs such as maize have to be imported. The price of consumer goods soars. Meat prices escalates and sadly, many rural jobs are lost and many small businesses simply succumb to the pressures of economic hardship.

It is high time that all South Africans become water – wise. This country is an arid one. Water is scarce and we are squandering a non-renewable resource as if there is no tomorrow. Experts have warned that there will soon come a time when water-shedding will be as common as Eskom’s load shedding.

Each and every South African will have to become aware of the fact that we live in a country where every drop of water counts. We need to be concious of the ways in which we use water. Instead of turning on the hose, use your dish water to water your garden. If a tap leaks, have it fixed. Do you really need to utterly fill the bath with water? There are numerous ways in which each of us can save water.

The drought that now devastates the rural areas will most surely influence your lifestyle. Take action today and resolve to treat water as a precious resource. Because it is!