Buffalo City Metro concerned as damn levels continue to drop

Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape is feeling the effects of the long-term drought ravaging the province.

City leaders are concerned as damn levels continue to drop, with the average capacity of its supply dams sitting at below 33%. The metro has already implemented its Stage 3 water restrictions program.

Dam levels continue to drop and the municipality’s two largest dams, which supply East London and Mdantsane, have dropped to 23% and 18% of capacity respectively.

Mayor of the Buffalo City metro, Xola Phakathi, says they are looking at other means of bringing water to the communities.

“The are many other options that we are discussing … one being the provision of boreholes for the rural communities, so that we can have sustainable water provision for those communities, but also looking at the possibility of a desalination plant. Because now, we have concluded that because of climate change, we are not going to have sustainable rainfall,” says Phakathi.

Buffalo City in the grip of a lengthy drought:

Organised business in the metro is concerned.

Lizelle Maurice, CEO of Border Kei Business Chamber, says they are trying to influence water use patterns.

“We created a water focus program, where we can actually see how we can influence our public and create awareness campaigns to say water is a scarce resource because the industry needs water to operate,” says Maurice.

Residents believe the municipality must take the lead in saving water.

“Fix all the taps to make this issue easy and the people must go to BCM and report this,” says a resident.

“I think the municipality should be the one taking the lead to preserve and to educate people and become aware of the situation that it’s facing,” says another resident.

The municipality is ramping up its public awareness campaign and urged residents to also report water leaks.

Drought-stricken municipalities in Eastern Cape breathe a sigh of relief:

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