IF THE reality of the drought has not sunk in yet, ask a farmer or a resident of Dordrecht about the shortage and the horrific consequences of being without water.
In Dordrecht, the town’s dams – and most boreholes – have run dry. Residents depend on either the kindness of farmers, bringing water in from boreholes in the district, or on the water carts being sent in by the Chris Hani District Municipality.
In the Komani district and further afield, news abounds of cattle carcasses lying on farming fields.
The end is not in sight either, with little or no rain falling so far this month. While forecasts indicate that heavy rains and possible flooding could be expected in the Eastern Cape in January, the reality is that right now, there is no water.
In the Komani area, dam levels are at an unprecedented low level and the residential areas are experiencing constant interruptions and planned cuts in the supply.
Despite this terrible situation and the dire situation facing us all, The Rep was this week fielding calls from concerned residents noting that people were continuing to wash their cars and water their gardens with hosepipes, despite not having borehole water.
The Chris Hani District Municipality has, over the past few weeks, made an earnest call to all residents to save water, emphasising that the entire area was currently heading towards a disaster.
Soon, there will be no water from any boreholes for the people of Dordrecht. Soon, the Waterdown dam levels may also become such that Komani and surrounding areas will have no access to water.
Over the past few years, predictions have been made that, in the future, wars will be fought over what is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity.
The reality is therefore that we can no longer afford, or tolerate, the wasting of water. Penalties need to be applied to those found guilty of ignoring restrictions and fines must be levied.
The issue of conserving water as a life-giving force is the responsibility of all – and so should it be the duty of all.
It is hoped that Komani and the other areas within the Chris Hani district stand together to save water – we have no other choice.