Hundreds of thousands of people in one of South Africa’s most important economic regions risk drying up their taps within weeks.
A severe drought has drained dams in the southern municipality of Nelson Mandela Bay, which includes the coastal city of Jakbirha, and three of the main reservoirs that supply about a third of its 1.3 million residents are about to run out, according to Bloomberg News Agency on Sunday. .
Much of the remaining water is of poor quality, and the overuse of chemicals to treat it has led to the death of at least two children, the agency added.
The water shortage has evoked memories of Cape Town’s plight four years ago, when drought forced the city’s more than four million residents to halve their daily consumption.
This is a sign of things to come – the government estimates that demand for water will outpace supply nationwide, over the next two years, and the country will face a deficit of about 20%, by the end of the decade.